With chronic tinnitus, it isn’t the ringing in your ears that’s the real problem. It’s the constant non-stop ringing, that’s the real problem.
Initially, this may be a mild noise that’s not much more than a little irritating. But the ringing can become frustrating and even incapacitating if it persists for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s vital 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 struggling to fall asleep because of the ringing or buzzing in your ear.
How You Can Exacerbate Your Tinnitus
It’s important to keep in mind that tinnitus is often not static. Symptoms present themselves in spikes and valleys. Sometimes, your tinnitus may be an afterthought, lost in the background of everyday life. At other times the sounds will be screaming in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to ignore.
That can leave you in a very frightening place of anxiety. Maybe you even get panic attacks while driving to work because you’re worried about your tinnitus flaring up during a meeting. And the very panic attack brought on by this worry can itself cause the tinnitus.
Tips For Coping With Tinnitus
The more you know about tinnitus, the better you can plan for and control the effects. And management is crucial since tinnitus doesn’t have a known cure. With the right management, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus needs to negatively affect your quality of life.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is One Approach
Many treatment options for tinnitus incorporate some kind of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The analogy that gets used frequently is the sound of rain on your roof: very noticeable at the beginning of a storm, but you stop focusing on it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound fades into the background. TRT uses the same concept to teach your brain to push the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time ignoring them.
Perfecting this method can take a bit of practice.
Distract Your Brain
Your brain is constantly looking for the source of the sound and that’s one of the reasons why tinnitus can be so frustrating. So supplying your brain with more (and varied) stimulation to concentrate on can help. You could:
- Take a book to the park and listen to the birds while you read.
- Play music while you paint a picture.
- Take a bubble bath and read a book.
You get the point: 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 breath, a mantra, and so on. Some people have discovered that meditation lowers their blood pressure, which can also be helpful with tinnitus.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Many hearing aid companies have developed hearing aids that help reduce the ringing in your ear. This solution is really convenient because they are small and out of your way compared to other approaches. The ringing will be managed by the hearing aid and you can relax and enjoy your life.
Have a Plan (And Follow-Through)
Making a plan for unforeseen spikes can help you handle your stress-out reaction, and that can help you reduce certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from exacerbating them). Pack a bag of useful items to take with you. Anything that will help you be more prepared and keep you from having a panic attack, like making a list of practical exercises, will go a long way toward management.
The Key is Management
There is no cure for tinnitus which is usually chronic. But control and treatment of tinnitus is a very real possibility. Make certain you are dealing with your tinnitus not suffering from it by using these tips and any others that you find helpful.