It’s that sound you hear that has no external source. It’s a buzzing, ringing, whirring, howling, hissing, or some other sound in your ears. In other words, it’s tinnitus. Tinnitus can be extremely distracting and can cause poor concentration, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and irritability, especially if it goes untreated or one does not know how to cope with it. For a better quality of life, here are tips for living and coping with tinnitus.
#1. Avoid intense stimulation where possible.
Possible causes of tinnitus are environmental factors and stress. Therefore, you should try to avoid anxiety-inducing or stressful situations as much as possible. You should also avoid stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, etc.). It may help to practice mindfulness or yoga in order to relax your nerves, but this may not work for everyone, as some find that the quiet introspection makes tinnitus more noticeable.
#2. Avoid loud environments and protect your hearing from further damage.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are closely related, and living with tinnitus and hearing loss is difficult enough without dealing with further progression. If you can, avoid loud environments as much as possible, such as construction sites, clubs, concerts, and similar situations. However, if you must go to a louder environment, use protective ear wear to prevent additional hearing loss and damage.
#3. Create a sleep environment that distracts you from your tinnitus.
For many, it is most difficult to cope with tinnitus at night because surroundings are quieter, making the ringing, buzzing, whirring, or other noises more noticeable. Make sure your sleep environment is better suited to distract you from your tinnitus. You may want to sleep with your head propped up to prevent congestion (which can make tinnitus even more noticeable) and try using a white noise machine, a ticking clock, or some soft music to help divert your attention from your tinnitus.
#4. Find some way of masking your tinnitus.
Using sound maskers can help override both external constant noises and the noise you hear from tinnitus to create something more consistent and less distracting. This can help ease tinnitus symptoms. Listening to more comforting sounds may also mask the noise and help you relax, which can help alleviate symptoms as well.
#5. Consider available therapies.
As stress can play a role in tinnitus, relaxation exercises, counseling, or group therapy may better help you live with tinnitus and hearing loss. Sound therapy may also help you de-stress and alleviate the buzzing in your ears. If there is another cause, such as a temporomandibular joint disorder, alternative therapies such as acupuncture or chiropractic may also be helpful.
#6. Try using hearing aids.
Much like using sound masking and other ways of distracting yourself from tinnitus, hearing aids amplify noises on frequencies you are trying to hear (such as conversations) while suppressing background noise, giving you other sounds to focus on and therefore helping in a similar fashion. Many shy away from this solution due to the cost, as custom hearing aids can be $1000-$4000 per ear. However, MDHearingAid offers affordable hearing aid options to help you live more comfortably with tinnitus and hearing loss, and have a better quality of life, without breaking the bank. Check out our reviews to see why so many of our customers love our hearing aids, or, if you have any questions, contact us online or over the phone.