The actual problem with chronic tinnitus is not simply that you have a ringing in your ears. It’s the continual never ending ringing, that’s the real issue.
The constant noise, possibly rather moderate in volume, may begin as little more than a nuisance. But after a day or a week or a month, that buzzing or ringing can become aggravating, frustrating, even incapacitating.
That’s why it’s vital to have some tips to fall back on, tips that make living with tinnitus easier. When you’re lying in bed, having difficulty falling asleep because you keep hearing ringing from your right ear, having a plan is going to help you a lot.
Your Tinnitus Can be Exacerbated
It’s beneficial to remember that tinnitus is commonly not static. Symptoms present themselves in spikes and valleys. There are times when your tinnitus is minimal and virtually lost in the background. In other moments, that ringing could be as difficult to ignore as a full-blown, personalized symphony.
This can be a really uncertain and scary situation. You might be so worried about your tinnitus flaring up during a meeting that you get a panic attack while you’re driving to work. And the very panic attack caused by this worry can itself trigger the tinnitus.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
The more you know about tinnitus, the better you can plan for and manage the effects. And management is critical since tinnitus doesn’t have a known cure. With the appropriate treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus needs to negatively impact your quality of life.
Consider Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Several treatment options for tinnitus include some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a roof is a common analogy: it’s very loud and obvious when it first begins but by the end of the storm you stop paying attention to it and recedes 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 disregard.
Perfecting this strategy can take a bit of practice.
Distract Your Brain
One of the reasons that tinnitus can be so frustrating is because your brain is continuously searching for the source of that sound, trying to signal you to its presence. So giving your brain more (and varied) stimulation to focus on can be helpful. Try these:
- Enjoy some time outdoors listening to the sounds of nature.
- Take a bubble bath and read a book.
- Have music playing while painting a picture.
You get the point: Your tinnitus might be able to be reduced by engaging your brain.
Meditation, as an alternate path, helps you concentrate your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your attention away from your tinnitus. Some people have discovered that meditation reduces their blood pressure, which can also be helpful with tinnitus.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Numerous hearing aid companies have developed hearing aids that help decrease the ringing in your ear. 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)
Having a plan for unforeseen surges can help you control your stress-out reaction, and that can help you minimize certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from worsening them). Plan on having a “go bag” full of things you might need. Anything that will help you be more ready and keep you from having a panic attack, like making a list of helpful exercises, will go a long way toward management.
Management is Key
There is no cure for tinnitus which is usually chronic. But control and treatment of tinnitus is a very real potential. Make sure you are dealing with your tinnitus not suffering from it by using these tips and any others that you find helpful.