The actual issue with chronic tinnitus is not just that you have a ringing in your ears. The real problem is that the ringing won’t stop.
The continuous noise, perhaps rather moderate in volume, might start as little more than an annoyance. But the ringing can become frustrating and even incapacitating if it continues for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s crucial to have some tips to fall back on, tips that make living with tinnitus easier. It can make a big difference if you have a plan when you’re lying in bed unable to fall asleep because of the ringing or buzzing in your ear.
How You Can Exacerbate Your Tinnitus
It’s beneficial to remember that tinnitus is commonly not static. There are increases and decreases in the presentation of symptoms. There are times when your tinnitus is minor and practically lost in the background. At other times the noises will be screeching in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to ignore.
That can leave you in a very frightening place of anxiety. Perhaps you even experience panic attacks while driving to work because you’re worried about your tinnitus flaring up during a meeting. That panic attack, in and of itself, can trigger the very episode you’re concerned about.
Tips For Coping With Tinnitus
The more you understand about tinnitus, the better you can prepare for and manage the effects. And management is critical since tinnitus has no known cure. With the right treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus has to negatively impact your quality of life.
Think About Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Many treatments for tinnitus incorporate some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The sound of rain on a roof is a common analogy: 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. It’s the same basic idea with TRT, teaching your brain to move that ringing into the background of your thoughts where it’s easier to ignore.
It can take training to master this technique.
Get Your Brain Distracted
Your brain is continuously looking for the source of the noise and that’s one of the reasons why tinnitus can be so aggravating. So giving your brain more (and varied) stimuli to focus on can help. Try these:
- Play music while painting 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 control your tinnitus.
Meditation, as an alternate path, helps you focus your attention on a mantra, or your breathing which helps take your attention away from your tinnitus. Another benefit of meditation, at least for some, is that it can decrease blood pressure which is a common cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Think about a Hearing Aid For Tinnitus Management
Several hearing aid companies have developed hearing aids that help reduce the ringing in your ear. Hearing aids are a great option because you put them in and can forget about it the whole day, you won’t need to carry around a white noise machine or constantly use an app. 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 control your stress-out reaction, and that can help you decrease certain tinnitus episodes (or at least keep from worsening them). Plan on having a “go bag” full of things you might 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.
Management is Key
Chronic tinnitus is an affliction that has no known cure. But that doesn’t mean that people cannot regulate and treat their tinnitus. These daily tips (and more similar to them) can help make sure you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.