How Can I Cope with Tinnitus on a Daily Basis?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise, such as buzzing or ringing in the ears, without an external sound stimulus. It can be caused by several factors, such as age-related hearing loss, damage to the inner ear, earwax blockage, cardiovascular issues, exposure to loud noise, and others. The effects of tinnitus are often temporary, lasting only for a few minutes. However, tinnitus can impact one’s quality of life and cause communication problems, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, depression, and irritability.

While there is no cure for tinnitus, it can be managed with sound masking devices or by treating the underlying cause. Therefore, it is possible to live a normal life with tinnitus.

Using the following devices and techniques can help you can cope with tinnitus on a daily basis:

1. Hearing Aids and Ear-Worn Maskers

Hearing loss has been linked to tinnitus, as both are caused by nerve damage. However, using hearing aids is a simple way to manage both conditions and live a normal life.

Hearing aids or maskers with the following features can help your tinnitus:

  • Masking features which provide relief from ringing or buzzing noise (if you have both tinnitus and hearing loss)
  • Sound generating device producing a pleasant sound, which can be used while sleeping (if you have tinnitus without hearing loss)

2. Sound Machines

A sound machine is recommended for those who have tinnitus without hearing loss, and for whom tinnitus is an issue primarily in quiet situations, such as while trying to sleep. It produces white noise (relaxing, natural sounds) that masks your tinnitus and makes it less noticeable.

Sound machines are available in various styles, including:

In addition, there are mobile apps that can work as sound machines. However, high-quality earphones would be required for these apps to be used effectively for your tinnitus.

Sound machines are available in various styles, including:

  • Bedside sound machine that produces calming noise to help you relax or fall asleep.
  • Portable sound machines (like hearing aids) to help reduce the annoyance of tinnitus.

In addition, there are mobile apps that can work as sound machines. However, high-quality earphones would be required for these apps to be used effectively for your tinnitus.

3. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

This involves teaching your brain to recognize and block out sounds associated with tinnitus. It may require several appointments with your audiologist to achieve the best results. However, this therapy can be a permanent solution to manage tinnitus as your brain will become accustomed to ignoring unwanted sounds.

4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A psychologist can teach you coping techniques to make tinnitus or its symptoms less bothersome. Psychologists may also advise you regarding ways to manage negative emotions associated with tinnitus, including stress, anger, anxiety, and depression.

5. Hearing Protection Devices

Prolonged exposure to loud music can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. If you cannot avoid loud sound levels, use hearing protection devices such as earmuffs, noise-canceling headphones, and earplugs to prevent tinnitus and hearing damage.

6. Earwax Removal

Using cotton swabs or similar products to remove ear wax might push the wax further into your ear canal and block it, resulting in tinnitus. If you have tinnitus due to ear wax, visit an audiologist to get it removed.

7. Medications

Your audiologist may prescribe medications to treat an underlying condition or ease tinnitus symptoms or complications, such as anxiety and depression.

However, there are also times when your medication may cause tinnitus. In these circumstances, consult with your audiologist, in partnership with your physician, to reduce the dosage or switch to another one.

Tinnitus can affect your quality of life, but there are ways to keep it under control. If you are looking for an effective treatment or therapy to manage your tinnitus, schedule an appointment with our expert audiologist, Dr. Chris Hoffmann, today.


Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.