The real problem with chronic tinnitus isn’t just that you have a ringing in your ears. The real issue is that the ringing doesn’t stop.
Initially, this might be a moderate noise that’s not much more than a bit irritating. But the ringing can become frustrating and even debilitating if it persists for days or months or more.
That’s why it’s critical that if you are coping with tinnitus you follow some tips to make life easier. It can make a big 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
Chronic tinnitus, in fact, is commonly not a static problem. Symptoms present themselves in spikes and valleys. Sometimes, your tinnitus might be an afterthought, hidden in the background of everyday life. At other times the noises will be screaming in your ears so loudly it’s impossible to ignore.
This can be a very uncertain and frightening situation. Perhaps you even experience panic attacks while driving to work because you’re worried about your tinnitus flaring up while you’re in a meeting. And the very panic attack caused by this worry can itself cause the tinnitus.
Tips For Coping With Tinnitus
You will be in a better position to plan for and control tinnitus the more you know about it. And management is crucial since tinnitus has no known cure. There’s no reason that your quality of life has to suffer if you put in place the proper treatment.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is One Option
Several treatment options for tinnitus incorporate some kind of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The analogy that gets used frequently is the sound of rain on your roof: it’s very loud and noticeable when it first begins but by the time the storm is ending you stop focusing on it and recedes into the background. TRT uses the same concept to teach your brain to push the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time tuning it out.
Perfecting this strategy can take a bit of practice.
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 frustrating. So supplying your brain with more (and varied) stimulation to focus on can help. You could:
- Have music playing while painting a picture.
- Take a book to the park and listen to the birds while you read.
- Take a bubble bath and read a book.
You get the gist: Your tinnitus may be able to be reduced by engaging your brain.
Alternately, many people have discovered that meditation helps because it concentrates your attention on something else, your breath, a mantra, and so on. Another advantage of meditation, at least for some people, is that it can decrease blood pressure which is a common cause of tinnitus symptoms.
Manage Tinnitus With a Hearing Aid
Hearing aids that help decrease tinnitus symptoms are already being manufactured by several hearing aid companies. This option is really convenient because they are small and out of your way compared to other approaches. You can relax and let a discreet hearing aid manage the ringing for you.
Have a Plan (And Follow-Through)
Having a plan for unexpected 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). Consider having a “go bag” containing stuff you may need. Anything that will help you be more ready 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. These daily tips (and more like them) can help make sure you are living with tinnitus, and not suffering from tinnitus.