What can I do about it?
Managing your tinnitus
There are several strategies that can be very helpful in managing tinnitus. Learn more about them or read our overview:
If you are having difficulty getting off to sleep, it may be that the shift from a relatively noisy daytime environment to the quietness of the bedroom makes the tinnitus noises more noticeable. Some people find having some low level sound can help mask tinnitus. This is often referred to as sound therapy.
You can find out more information on what to do at night if you have tinnitus, including a list of dos and don’ts at bedtime, on our tinnitus and sleep disturbance page.
Correcting any hearing loss
If your tinnitus is accompanied by any hearing loss, then trying to correct this loss with hearing aids is often very helpful for managing tinnitus. You can find out more about how this can help on our hearing aids page.
Techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be helpful, either as a standalone therapy or combined with sound therapy. CBT can help you manage the effect that tinnitus has on your life by offering techniques that can help you deal with anxiety and distress. It helps you understand your thought process in relation to the condition so that your thoughts can become more positive.
Cognitive behavioural programmes will usually involve tracking thoughts and making notes on when tinnitus is creating the greatest disturbance to you and what you were thinking at the time. You’ll then discuss your thoughts and be challenged and supported on changing your thought processes for the better.
Therapy sessions can be carried out on a one-to-one or group session and could be with a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist or specially trained audiologist. If you would like more information on whether counselling could be a positive option for you and how you can go about receiving counselling, contact our Tinnitus Support Team on 0800 018 0527.
Exercise helps the body achieve a higher level of well-being and in most cases this helps people to ignore and cope with their tinnitus more easily, as well as helping them to sleep better.
If you are not used to exercise, begin gently with a brisk walk or a swim. Choose somewhere quiet to walk if you find the traffic stressful, although some people with tinnitus seek out noisy places to reduce its intrusiveness. Try to do a range of exercises to improve strength, cardiovascular fitness, suppleness and flexibility.
If you’re someone who suffers from tinnitus, you will probably feel better when you find out more about the condition. That is very common and you are not alone. There’s plenty of great information on this website, including our range of information leaflets, and don’t forget to check out Take on Tinnitus, our e-learning portal! Educating yourself is a great way to manage tinnitus and you’ll find everything you need online.
Join the BTA
BTA Members hear all about all the latest progress in research from our magazine Quiet, and tell us they are reassured by the stories of others with tinnitus that we feature. Members also get discounts on products to help them cope with their tinnitus.
If your mind is occupied with something absorbing, it is easier to forget about tinnitus. Work, leisure pursuits and other interests can all help to provide a worthwhile focus.
It can often be very helpful to talk to someone who understands how you are feeling, who can reassure you about anxieties you may have and answer your questions. The BTA helpline on 0800 018 0527 is available to offer support, and can provide details of local groups and information days.
Learning to relax properly is one of the best ways to help yourself. Many people who practise regular relaxation techniques say they reduce the loudness of their tinnitus and help them become indifferent to their noises. They also help break down the vicious cycle of stress and anxiety that many people find accompanies their tinnitus. Why not try tai chi, qi gong, yoga, meditation or one of our relaxation CDs?
See your GP
Tinnitus is rarely an indication of a serious disorder, but it is wise to see your doctor if you think you have it. Your GP will be able to refer you to specialist Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and Audiology services.
After seeing your GP, you may wish to visit our e-learning portal, Take on Tinnitus, to help you find out more about managing your tinnitus.
If the noises seem louder at quiet times, particularly during the night, it may help to have some environmental or natural sound from a CD, a sound generator, or even a fan or ticking clock in the background. Some people use in-ear sound generators. This is often referred to as sound therapy.
Take on Tinnitus
We have an online resource for people with tinnitus: Take on Tinnitus. It has been developed for people who have just begun to experience tinnitus but it is useful for anyone with the condition.
It is designed so it can be used on mobile phones, tablets or computers, includes an initial taster session followed by seven learning modules covering the fundamentals of tinnitus, hearing and tinnitus, benefits of using sound, the link between tinnitus and relaxation, sleep and tinnitus, the benefits of talking about it and living your life with tinnitus.
Each module takes just 10-15 minutes to complete and includes a range of interactive exercises, video clips and self-tests all designed to keep you engaged in your learning.