With chronic tinnitus, it isn’t the ringing in your ears that’s the real problem. The real issue is that the ringing won’t stop.
Initially, this might be a moderate noise that’s not much more than a bit annoying. But the ringing can become frustrating and even debilitating if it continues for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s crucial that if you are living with tinnitus you adhere to some tips to make life easier. It can make a big difference if you have a plan when you’re lying in bed unable to fall asleep because of the ringing or buzzing in your ear.
Your Tinnitus Can be Made Worse
It’s beneficial to remember that tinnitus is often not static. There are spikes and valleys in the presentation of symptoms. At times, your tinnitus might be an afterthought, hidden in the background of everyday life. At other times, that ringing could be as difficult to dismiss as a full-blown, individualized symphony.
That can leave you in a pretty scary place of uncertainty. Maybe you even experience panic attacks while driving to work because you’re concerned about your tinnitus flaring up during a meeting. And the very panic attack caused by this worry can itself cause the tinnitus.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
The more you understand about tinnitus, the better you can plan for and control the effects. And, because there’s no known cure for tinnitus, management of symptoms is essential. With the appropriate treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus has to negatively impact your quality of life.
Think About Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Many treatment options for tinnitus incorporate some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a rooftop is a common analogy: it’s very loud and noticeable when it first starts but by the time the storm is ending you stop paying attention to it and recedes into the background. TRT uses the same principle to teach your brain to push the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time tuning it out.
It can take training to get this technique down.
Distract Your Brain
One reason tinnitus can be so infuriating is because your brain is continuously looking for the source of that sound, attempting to alert you to its presence. So giving your brain more (and varied) stimuli to focus on can be helpful. You could:
- Bring a book to the park and listen to the birds while reading.
- Have music playing while you paint a picture.
- Take a bubble bath while reading a book.
You get the gist: Your tinnitus might be able to be decreased by engaging your brain.
Meditation, as an alternate path, helps you focus your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your focus away from your tinnitus. Another benefit of meditation, at least for some people, is that it can lower blood pressure which is a common cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Think about a Hearing Aid For Tinnitus Management
Hearing aids that help minimize tinnitus symptoms are already being developed by numerous hearing aid companies. This solution is really convenient because they are small and out of your way compared to other approaches. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid manage the ringing for you.
Have a Plan (And Follow-Through)
Making a plan for unexpected surges can help you handle your stress-out reaction, and that can help you reduce certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from exacerbating them). Consider having a “go bag” full of things you might need. Anything that can help you be ready for a tinnitus spike, even generating a list of useful exercises will be good because it will keep you from having a panic attack!
Management is Key
Chronic tinnitus is a condition that has no known cure. But control and treatment of tinnitus is a very real potential. These daily tips (and more similar to them) can help make sure you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.