With chronic tinnitus, it isn’t the ringing in your ears that’s the actual problem. The real problem is that the ringing doesn’t stop.
Initially, this may be a moderate noise that’s not much more than a little annoying. But after a day or a week or a month, that ringing or buzzing can become aggravating, frustrating, even incapacitating.
That’s why it’s essential to have some tips to fall back on, tips that make living with tinnitus less difficult. It can make a big difference if you have a plan when you’re lying in bed unable to fall asleep because of the buzzing or ringing in your ear.
Your Tinnitus Can be Made Worse
Chronic tinnitus, after all, is commonly not a static problem. Symptoms manifest themselves in spikes and valleys. There are times when your tinnitus is minimal and practically lost in the background. At other times the noises will be screeching in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to ignore.
That can leave you in a very frightening place of uncertainty. You may be so worried about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting that you have a panic attack while you’re driving to work. That panic attack, in and of itself, can trigger the very episode you’re concerned about.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
The more you know about tinnitus, the better you can plan for and control the effects. And management is the key since tinnitus has no known cure. With the appropriate treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus needs to negatively impact your quality of life.
Think About Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a common strategy for tinnitus management. The analogy that gets floated around most often is the sound of rain on your rooftops: very apparent at the start of a storm, but you stop paying attention to it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound fades 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.
Perfecting this method can take some practice.
Distract Your Brain
One reason tinnitus can be so frustrating is because your brain is continuously searching for the source of that noise, trying to alert you to its presence. So supplying your brain with more (and varied) stimulation to concentrate on can help. You could:
- Read a book while soaking in a bubble bath.
- Do some drawing or painting while listening to music.
- Bring a book to the park and listen to the birds while you read.
You get the idea: engaging your brain can help you manage your tinnitus.
Alternately, many individuals have discovered that meditation helps because it concentrates your attention on something else, your breathing, a mantra, and so on. Another advantage of meditation, at least for some people, is that it can decrease blood pressure which is a known 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 option is very 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.
Have a Plan (And Stick to it)
Making a plan for unforeseen spikes can help you control your stress-out reaction, and that can help you reduce certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from exacerbating them). Pack a bag of practical items to take with you. Anything that will help you be more prepared and keep you from panicking, like making a list of practical exercises, will go a long way toward management.
Management is Key
There is no cure for tinnitus which is often chronic. But that doesn’t mean that individuals can’t manage and treat their tinnitus. These daily tips (and more like them) can help make certain you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.