With chronic tinnitus, it isn’t the ringing in your ears that’s the real issue. It’s the continual non-stop ringing, that’s the real issue.
At first, this might be a mild noise that’s not much more than a little irritating. 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 less difficult. It can make a huge difference if you have a plan when you’re lying in bed unable to fall asleep because of the buzzing or ringing in your ear.
Your Tinnitus Can be Made Worse
Chronic tinnitus, in fact, is frequently not a static condition. Symptoms present themselves in spikes and valleys. At times, your tinnitus may be an afterthought, lost in the background of everyday life. At other times, that ringing could be as difficult to ignore as a full-blown, individualized symphony.
This can be a really uncertain and scary situation. You might be so concerned about your tinnitus flaring up during a meeting that you have a panic attack while you’re driving to work. That panic attack, in and of itself, can lead to the very situation you’re worried about.
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, because there’s no known cure for tinnitus, control of symptoms is vital. With the right treatment, there’s no reason that chronic tinnitus needs to negatively impact your quality of life.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is One Approach
Several treatment options for tinnitus involve some form of tinnitus retraining therapy (or TRT). The analogy that gets floated around most often is the sound of rain on your roof: it’s very loud and obvious when it first begins but by the time the storm is ending you stop paying attention to it and fades into the background. TRT uses the same principle to teach your brain to move the tinnitus symptoms into the background of your thoughts so you will have an easier time ignoring them.
It can take practice to get this technique down.
Get Your Brain Distracted
One of the reasons that tinnitus can be so frustrating is because your brain is constantly looking for the source of that noise, trying to signal you to its presence. So supplying your brain with more (and varied) stimuli to concentrate 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 playing music.
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 advantage of meditation, at least for some, 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 reduce 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. The ringing will be handled by the hearing aid and you can relax and enjoy your life.
Have a Plan (And Stick to it)
The impact of some tinnitus episodes can be decreased, and your stress reaction can be managed if you have a good plan for any spikes in your symptoms. Think about 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 practical exercises, will go a long way toward management.
Management is Key
Chronic tinnitus is an affliction that has no known cure. But management and treatment of tinnitus is a very real possibility. Make sure you are managing your tinnitus not suffering from it by using these tips and any others that you find helpful.
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