Lifestyle changes can certainly relieve tinnitus but, unfortunately, eliminating it entirely is unlikely. Tinnitus, in most cases, is caused by inner ear damage that just cannot be reversed. The great thing about lifestyle changes is that they can draw your attention away from the sound you think you’re hearing and/or relieve certain stressors that tend to increase the intensity of tinnitus.
Watch what you eat. There is no conclusive research saying that specific foods are “tinnitus killers,” but there is no denying the overall benefits of a healthy diet. And if your tinnitus is connected to a condition such as hypertension, a diet that is blood-pressure friendly may help relieve tinnitus. The connection between a healthy cardiovascular system and healthy hearing is well documented.
Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke contains a laundry list of chemicals many people may not even realize they are taking into their bodies. Among these are chemicals that can adversely affect hearing. The most well-known component of cigarette smoke, nicotine, has been linked to the shrinking of blood vessels in the body. That includes the ones that supply blood to your inner ear. Cutting down the blood supply for the portion of the inner ear that sends impulses to the brain can lead to tinnitus as impulse-generating hair cells become damaged or die.
Reduce stress. Whether or not stress is a primary cause of tinnitus has yet to be determined, however, many have reported increased tinnitus when stress is present. For instance, someone with both hearing loss and tinnitus can find themselves with exacerbated tinnitus due to stressing about their hearing difficulty. In the same way, tinnitus caused by an illness such as high blood pressure may also be made worse by stress over one’s blood pressure numbers. Anything you can do to reduce stress is a potential help. Whether it’s physical exercise, meditation or a relaxing hobby, look for ways to take the edge off life.
Be a social person. Another source of stress that deserves its own mention is social isolation that can develop due to hearing loss. The frustration of trying to communicate with people, coupled with the emotional aspects of cutting oneself off from people are both major stressors. Getting out among people and socializing can be very relaxing and can also put you in sound-rich environments that distract from your tinnitus.
Recreational Activities and Hobbies. Giving yourself opportunities to focus on anything other than your tinnitus is helpful. For instance, when you are focused on a task, you may very well tune out tinnitus as you might tune out someone trying to get your attention. Also, anything that involves using your hearing or putting you amid distracting, but not overly loud sounds, can be very helpful in taking your mind off your tinnitus. Filling one’s time with activity and/or pleasant sound can prevent the annoying experience many tinnitus sufferers have when faced with absolute quiet. At such times, there can appear to be nothing else to hear but their tinnitus sound. It is only natural for the body to zero in on that unwanted noise, which can lead to the unhealthy stress mentioned above.