With chronic tinnitus, it isn’t the ringing in your ears that’s the actual problem. The real issue is that the ringing won’t stop.
The continuous noise, perhaps rather moderate in volume, may begin as little more than a nuisance. But after a day or a week or a month, that ringing or buzzing can become aggravating, frustrating, even debilitating.
That’s why it’s essential to have some tips to fall back on, tips that make living with tinnitus less difficult. When you’re lying in bed, having difficulty falling asleep because you keep hearing ringing from your left ear, having a plan is going to help you a lot.
How You Can Exacerbate Your Tinnitus
It’s important to remember that tinnitus is often not static. There are spikes and valleys in the presentation of symptoms. There are times when your tinnitus is minor and virtually lost in the background. At other times the noises will be screeching in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to ignore.
This can be a really uncertain and scary situation. You may be so worried about your tinnitus flaring up during a meeting that you get a panic attack while driving to work. And the very panic attack caused by this worry can itself trigger the tinnitus.
Tips For Coping With Tinnitus
The more you understand about tinnitus, the better you can prepare for and control the effects. And, because there’s no known cure for tinnitus, control of symptoms is essential. With the appropriate management, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus has to negatively affect your quality of life.
Consider Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Many treatments for tinnitus incorporate some kind of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The analogy that gets floated around frequently is the sound of rain on your rooftops: very obvious at the start of a storm, but you stop paying attention to it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound goes into the background. TRT uses the same principle to train your brain to push the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time ignoring them.
Perfecting this strategy can take a bit of practice.
Distract Your Brain
One reason tinnitus can be so infuriating is because your brain is continuously searching for the source of that sound, trying to alert you to its presence. So giving your brain a range of different sounds to focus on can be really helpful. Try these:
- Do some drawing or painting while listening to music.
- Enjoy a book while taking a bubble bath.
- Enjoy some time outdoors listening to the sounds of nature.
You get the point: engaging your brain can help you manage your tinnitus.
Alternately, many individuals have found that meditation helps because it concentrates your attention on something else, your breath, a mantra, and so on. Some individuals have found that meditation decreases their blood pressure, which can also be helpful with tinnitus.
Consider a Hearing Aid For Tinnitus Management
Hearing aids that help decrease tinnitus symptoms are already being developed by several 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 deal with the ringing for you.
Have a Plan (And Stick to it)
Making a plan for unexpected surges can help you handle your stress-out response, and that can help you decrease certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from worsening them). Plan on having a “go bag” containing stuff you may need. Anything that will help you be more prepared and keep you from panicking, like making a list of helpful exercises, will go a long way toward management.
The Key is Management
There is no cure for tinnitus which is usually chronic. But that doesn’t mean that individuals cannot regulate and treat their tinnitus. Make sure you are managing your tinnitus not suffering from it by utilizing these tips and any others that you find helpful.