With chronic tinnitus, it’s not the ringing in your ears that’s the real problem. The real problem is that the ringing won’t stop.
Initially, this might be a mild noise that’s not much more than a little irritating. But the ringing can become frustrating and even incapacitating if it continues for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s critical that if you are living with tinnitus you adhere to some tips to make life easier. It can make a huge difference if you have a plan when you’re lying in bed struggling to fall asleep because of the buzzing or ringing in your ear.
Your Tinnitus Can be Exacerbated
It’s beneficial to remember that tinnitus is often not static. Symptoms manifest themselves in spikes and valleys. At times, your tinnitus might be an afterthought, lost in the background of daily life. At other times the noises will be screaming in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to dismiss.
This can be a very uncertain and frightening situation. You might be so concerned about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting that you get a panic attack while driving to work. That panic attack, in and of itself, can cause the very episode you’re concerned about.
Tips For Living With Tinnitus
The more you know about tinnitus, the better you can prepare for and control the effects. And, because there’s no known cure for tinnitus, control of symptoms is vital. With the right treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus has to negatively affect your quality of life.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is One Approach
Many treatment options for tinnitus incorporate some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a rooftop is a common analogy: very noticeable at the beginning of a storm, but you stop paying attention to it after a while and that rain-on-rooftops sound fades 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 dismiss.
It can take training to get this technique down.
Distract Your Brain
Your brain is continuously searching for the source of the noise and that’s one of the reasons why tinnitus can be so aggravating. So giving your brain a range of different sounds to concentrate on can be very helpful. Try these:
- Enjoy a book while taking a bubble bath.
- Do some drawing or painting while listening to music.
- Enjoy some time outside listening to the sounds of nature.
You get the point: engaging your brain can help you control your tinnitus.
Meditation, as an alternate approach, helps you focus your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your attention away from your tinnitus. Some individuals have found that meditation lowers their blood pressure, which can also help with tinnitus.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Several hearing aid companies have manufactured hearing aids that help minimize the ringing in your ear. Hearing aids are an ideal option because you put them in and can forget about them 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 exacerbating them). Pack a bag of useful items to take with you. Anything that can help you be ready for a tinnitus surge, even making a list of helpful exercises will be beneficial because it will keep you from having a panic attack!
The Key is Management
There’s no cure for tinnitus which is usually chronic. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t regulate and treat their tinnitus. These daily tips (and more similar to them) can help make certain you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.