The actual issue with chronic tinnitus is not just that you have a ringing in your ears. It’s the continuous never ending ringing, that’s the real issue.
The continuous noise, possibly somewhat moderate in volume, may begin as little more than an annoyance. But the ringing can become aggravating and even incapacitating if it persists 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. There are increases and decreases in the manifestation of symptoms. There are times when your tinnitus is minimal and practically lost in the background. In other moments, that ringing could be as hard to dismiss as a full-blown, personalized symphony.
That can leave you in a rather frightening place of anxiety. Perhaps you even get panic attacks while driving to work because you’re concerned about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting. And the very panic attack brought on by this worry can itself trigger 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 the key since tinnitus has no known cure. There’s no reason that your quality of life needs to suffer if you establish the right treatment.
Consider Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Several treatments for tinnitus involve some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a rooftop is a common analogy: it’s very loud and noticeable when it first starts but by the time the storm is ending you stop focusing on it and recedes into the background. It’s the same basic concept with TRT, teaching your brain to move that ringing into the background of your attention where it’s easier to disregard.
Mastering this method 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 looking for the source of that sound, trying to alert you to its presence. So giving your brain a variety of different sounds to concentrate on can be really helpful. Try these:
- Have music playing while you paint a picture.
- Take a book to the park and listen to the birds while reading.
- Take a bubble bath and read a book.
You get the idea: Your tinnitus may be able to be decreased by engaging your brain.
Meditation, as an alternate approach, helps you concentrate your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your focus away from your tinnitus. Another benefit of meditation, at least for some people, is that it can reduce blood pressure which is a common cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Think about a Hearing Aid For Tinnitus Management
Hearing aids that help reduce tinnitus symptoms are already being developed by several hearing aid companies. Hearing aids are an ideal solution because you put them in and can forget about them the entire day, you won’t need to carry around a white noise generator or constantly listen to an app. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid deal with the ringing for you.
Have a Plan (And Follow-Through)
The impact of some tinnitus episodes can be lessened, and your stress response can be controlled if you have a practical plan for any spikes in your symptoms. Plan on having a “go bag” containing stuff you might need. Anything that will help you be more prepared 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
Chronic tinnitus is a condition that has no known cure. But management and treatment of tinnitus is a very real potential. Make sure you are managing your tinnitus not suffering from it by utilizing these tips and any others that you find helpful.