Some Help For Tinnitus –
For those of you also stuck with Life’s pilot tone playing in their ear(s) here are some observations from one who lives with the condition with some tips that may help manage your own tinnitus.
Avoid Noise – (duh!… but really)-I wear ear plugs in loud situations and especially on aircraft. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable loud music concerts can be when wearing ear plugs.
Stress – Not an easy thing to avoid but stress can send your tinnitus levels soaring. Taking breaks, small walks or even taking up meditation can help a lot of people.
Diet: Aggravators to tinnitus can include:
Salt, Quinine (as found in tonic water),Cheese, Spicy food, Red wine (I avoid alcohol with only the odd glass of white wine) ,Sugar- avoid refined sugars as much as possible
Artificial sweeteners – Aspartame is worth avoiding- try to use natural sugars if replacing
refined sugar in your diet. Fructose and Xylitol and other fruit sugars are much better and don’t give the same blood sugar spikes.
Saturated and trans fats are worth avoiding whether you have tinnitus or not. Unsaturated fats and a more Mediterranean type diet can help immensely.Flavour enhances- avoid monosodium glutamate too if possible.
Depression and poor health can increase tinnitus levels(though we are in less of a position to control this)
High blood pressure is another link to high tinnitus levels so if your tinnitus level remains high for a very long term it’s worth having your blood pressure checked.
Antibiotics and prescription medicines including some anti depressants can increase tinnitus levels. Long term use of some decongestants is often thought an antagonist of tinnitus symptoms.
Atmospheric pressure can increase tinnitus levels too. Mine goes crazy before a summer thunderstorm. there’s little you can do about this but it’s worth being aware of.A good thunderstorm sees my tinnitus level decrease once the storm has broken.
Maskers can help re-frame your sensitivity to your own tinnitus. maskers are like small hearing aids that play white noise. the idea is to set the white noise at the same level as your tinnitus and slowly decrease over time. For some this can help reduce your perception of tinnitus. Equally natural sounds of streams, water, the ocean and wind through trees or even a detuned FM radio set can provide an equally valid source of white noise. Some people obtain relief just from having a different noise mask their own constant tinnitus.
Programs are also available that run on your computer that provide a range of masking via white and pink noise (also good for insomniacs).
On-line white and pink noise -these can be downloaded and looped in most good multimedia players.
More information–British Tinnitus Association