Hearing Health Blog

Woman with her eyes closed trying to get relief from tinnitus with retraining therapy.

With chronic tinnitus, it’s not the ringing in your ears that’s the real issue. It’s the constant non-stop ringing, that’s the real problem.

Initially, this might be a mild noise that’s not much more than a bit annoying. But after a day or a week or a month, that buzzing or ringing can become irritating, frustrating, even incapacitating.

That’s why it’s crucial that if you are living with tinnitus you adhere to some tips to make life easier. When you’re lying in bed, having trouble falling asleep because you keep hearing buzzing from your right ear, having a plan is going to help you a lot.

How You Can Exacerbate Your Tinnitus

Chronic tinnitus, in fact, is frequently not a static problem. Symptoms present themselves in spikes and valleys. There are times when your tinnitus is minimal and virtually lost in the background. At other times the noises will be shrieking in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to dismiss.

That can leave you in a pretty frightening place of uncertainty. Perhaps you even get panic attacks while driving to work because you’re worried about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting. That panic attack, in and of itself, can trigger the very episode you’re concerned about.

Tips For Living With Tinnitus

You will be in a better position to plan for and control tinnitus the more you understand about it. And, because there’s no known cure for tinnitus, management of symptoms is vital. With the correct management, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus needs to negatively affect your quality of life.

Think About Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a common approach to tinnitus management. The analogy that gets used frequently is the sound of rain on your rooftops: very noticeable at the start of a storm, but you stop focusing on it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound fades into the background. It’s the same basic strategy with TRT, teaching your brain to move that ringing into the background of your attention where it’s easier to ignore.

It can take training to get this technique down.

Get Your Brain Distracted

One reason tinnitus can be so frustrating is because your brain is constantly looking for the source of that sound, trying to alert you to its presence. So supplying your brain with more (and varied) stimulation to concentrate on can help. You could:

  • Do some drawing or painting while playing music.
  • Bring a book to the park and listen to the birds while reading.
  • Take a bubble bath and read a book.

You get the point: Your tinnitus might be able to be reduced by engaging your brain.

Meditation, as an alternate path, helps you focus your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your attention away from your tinnitus. Some individuals have discovered that meditation reduces their blood pressure, which can also be helpful with tinnitus.

Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid

Hearing aids that help minimize tinnitus symptoms are already being developed by numerous hearing aid companies. This option is really convenient because they are small and out of your way compared to other strategies. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid take care of the ringing for you.

Make a Plan (And Stick to it)

Having a plan for unforeseen spikes can help you handle your stress-out response, and that can help you minimize certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from worsening them). Pack a bag of useful items to take with you. Anything that can help you be equipped for a tinnitus spike, even creating a list of useful exercises will be good because it will keep you from panicking!

The Key is Management

Chronic tinnitus is an affliction that has no known cure. But that doesn’t mean that individuals cannot regulate and treat their tinnitus. These daily tips (and more similar to them) can help make sure you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.

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References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303565/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5050200/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17956798/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447068/
https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008664

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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