Though not uncommon — and still somewhat mysterious — tinnitus is not something most people will ever have to worry about. But some will. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population will suffer a stretch of the condition at some time in their life.
Usually, tinnitus is marked by the experience of hearing a persistent ringing, one not coming from any external source. More rarely other noises are heard. Regardless, the problem is a “phantom” sound that won’t go away.
Here are some do’s and don’ts when dealing with it:
- Realize that the condition might be temporary, as is often the case. And if it’s not, realize that it can be managed.
- Find tools, such as special equipment or apps, which can aid in falling asleep.
- Avoid things that may make things worse, including sleep deprivation. Alcohol, caffeine, high doses of aspirin, and a range of medications are all also known to worsen tinnitus.
- Understand that tinnitus is sometimes more than an annoyance and is a symptom of an underlying health issue.
- Ignore the problem if it persists for more than a few days and is inhibiting your quality of life. Visit a healthcare professional for analysis and support.
- Subject your ears to extreme sound environments, which can further aggravate the condition.
- Allow it to raise your overall level of stress. Mindfulness exercises, yoga, and background music can all help mitigate the anxiety that is a common aspect of suffering from tinnitus.
- Go it alone. Seek out support, whether medical or psychological.
Tinnitus is no fun, but can — and sometimes has to — be lived with.