1. Maintain a rich sound environment. This helps to stimulate the auditory pathways
and retrain your brain to defocus away from the tinnitus. \if you have significant
hearing loss, consider the fitment of hearing aid(as) as appropriate.
2. Use ear protection when sound exposure is likely to cause hearing damage (e.g.
loud concerts, occupational noise, movie theatre, prolonged dental work, etc). Ear
protection should be selected depending on the situation (e.g. Musician’s ear plugs
for concerts and movie theatre; ear muffs for industrial situations; noise cancelling
headphones for long haul flights\0.
3. Avoid very quiet environments or blocking your ears or using ear plugs in normal
sound level situations. This is particularly relevant in the early stages of tinnitus.
Once you have habituated to your tinnitus and hardly ever notice it and are no longer
distressed by your tinnitus, you will be able to enjoy very quiet situations again.
4. Do not be overly concerned about temporary spikes in your tinnitus which can occur
from time-to-time as a result of reactive tinnitus to certain triggers such as car
cabin noise when on a long trip, certain foods and drinks, medications, stress, dental
treatment, neck and jaw problems, neuralgia, etc. For most people, the peak intensity
eases over time.
5. Discuss your medications with your GP and/or treating specialist. Some medications
or combinations of medications have been reported to trigger or exacerbate tinnitus
or can cause damage to your hearing - ototoxic (e.g. Aspirin and certain antibiotics).
6. Remember that tinnitus perception is strongly correlated to your degree of stress
and anxiety about tinnitus. Fear of tinnitus will enhance your attention to the tinnitus
and contribute to distress and anxiety and this will increase your perception of
tinnitus. As a consequence, what is a small tinnitus signal can be perceived as overwhelmingly
loud as your auditory neural pathways amplify the internal sound.
7. Utilise any technique that reduces your anxiety levels such as relaxation, meditation,
mindfulness, hypnosis, neurofeedback, yoga, tai chi, etc. It is important that you
receive reassurance, understanding and support from a suitably qualified tinnitus
8. The use of appropriately prescribed medication in the early stages of tinnitus
is understandable and acceptable. If medication is of the benzodiazapine family,
then possible addition and withdrawal is a consideration. Short-term and infrequent
use is best.
9. Remember that invariably tinnitus improves over time and in many people they become
completely unaware of their tinnitus for most of the time. For some people, being
aware of head or ear-sounds is a normal phenomenon. The most realistic goal is therefore
to only be aware of your tinnitus when you listen for it or in very quiet situations.
10. Tinnitus perception and intensity invariably eases over time. However, if you
become extremely distressed or affected by your tinnitus it is important to talk
to someone about it. If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to
yourself or others, please contact emergency services or 000 and talk to someone