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.
At first, this may be a mild noise that’s not much more than a bit irritating. But the ringing can become aggravating and even incapacitating if it continues for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s essential 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.
How You Can Worsen Your Tinnitus
Chronic tinnitus, after all, is often not a static problem. Symptoms manifest themselves in spikes and valleys. There are times when your tinnitus is mild and practically lost in the background. At other times the noises will be screeching in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to dismiss.
This can be a really uncertain and frightening situation. You may be so concerned about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting that you get a panic attack while driving to work. And the very panic attack brought on by this worry can itself cause the tinnitus.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
You will be in a better position to prepare for and manage tinnitus the more you understand about it. And management is the key since tinnitus doesn’t have a known cure. With the correct management, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus needs to negatively affect your quality of life.
Consider Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a standard strategy for tinnitus management. The analogy that gets floated around frequently is the sound of rain on your rooftops: it’s very loud and noticeable when it first starts but by the time the storm is ending you stop paying attention to it and recedes into the background. TRT uses the same concept to train your brain to push the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time tuning it out.
It can take practice to get this technique down.
Get Your Brain Distracted
Your brain is continuously searching for the source of the noise and that’s one of the reasons why tinnitus can be so frustrating. So giving your brain more (and varied) stimuli to focus on can help. Try these:
- Take a bubble bath while reading a book.
- Enjoy some time outside listening to the sounds of nature.
- Do some drawing or painting while listening to music.
You get the point: Your tinnitus might be able to be reduced by engaging your brain.
Meditation, as an alternate approach, 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 known cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Hearing aids that help minimize tinnitus symptoms are already being developed by numerous hearing aid companies. Hearing aids are an ideal option because you put them in and can forget about it the whole day, you don’t need to carry around a white noise machine or constantly listen to an app. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid manage the ringing for you.
Make a Plan (And Stick to it)
Having 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 worsening them). Consider 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
Chronic tinnitus is an affliction that has no known cure. But management and treatment of tinnitus is a very real possibility. These daily tips (and more similar to them) can help make sure you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.