With chronic tinnitus, it isn’t the ringing in your ears that’s the real issue. It’s the continuous non-stop ringing, that’s the real issue.
The continuous noise, perhaps somewhat moderate in volume, may start as little more than an annoyance. 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. It can make a huge 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.
Your Tinnitus Can be Made Worse
It’s important to remember that tinnitus is commonly not static. Symptoms present themselves in spikes and valleys. There are times when your tinnitus is minor and practically lost in the background. At other times the noises will be screaming in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to disregard.
This can be a very uncertain and scary situation. 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 caused by this worry can itself trigger the tinnitus.
Tips For Coping With Tinnitus
The more you know about tinnitus, the better you can prepare for and manage the effects. And management is the real key since tinnitus has no known cure. There’s no reason that your quality of life has to suffer if you establish the right treatment.
Think About Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a standard approach to tinnitus management. 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. TRT uses the same concept to teach your brain to move the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time ignoring them.
It can take training to master this technique.
Get Your Brain Distracted
One of the reasons that tinnitus can be so infuriating is because your brain is constantly looking for the source of that noise, trying to alert you to its presence. So supplying your brain with more (and varied) stimulation to focus on can be helpful. Try these:
- Have music playing while you paint a picture.
- Bring a book to the park and listen to the birds while reading.
- Take a bubble bath while reading a book.
You get the gist: engaging your brain can help you manage your tinnitus.
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. Another advantage of meditation, at least for some people, is that it can reduce blood pressure which is a common cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Hearing aids that help minimize tinnitus symptoms are already being manufactured by several hearing aid companies. Hearing aids are an ideal option because you put them in and can forget about it the entire day, you don’t need to carry around a white noise machine or constantly use an app. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid deal with the ringing for you.
Have a Plan (And Follow-Through)
Having a plan for unexpected surges can help you control your stress-out response, and that can help you minimize certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from worsening them). Think about having a “go bag” full of stuff you might need. Anything that can help you be ready for a tinnitus spike, even generating a list of helpful exercises will be good because it will keep you from panicking!
Management is Key
Chronic tinnitus is a condition that has no known cure. But control and treatment of tinnitus is a very real possibility. Make sure you are dealing with your tinnitus not suffering from it by utilizing these tips and any others that you find helpful.