How I Manage Tinnitus
If you are new to tinnitus, you will probably mistake it for a permanent hearing problem. However, you should not worry as this is a very common case and affects many. Simply put, tinnitus is the perception of sound inside your head or your ears without the presence of an external sound source. Lay people usually call it "head noise" or "ringing in ears". There is no known cure for tinnitus but it is easy to manage the disease with the few tips I will give below. It is a common condition that affects 1 in every five people.
Tinnitus exhibits itself in two forms; subjective and objective tinnitus. The former is when only you can hear the sound while the latter is when the sound is audible and others near you can hear it too. These are recordable through a sensitive microphone.
If you care for your ears, it will be hard to be affected by tinnitus. In most cases, tinnitus is caused by factors that can be avoided through daily ear care. It is caused by build-up of wax and exposure to loud sounds. It cal also be caused by head and neck trauma, disorders, cardiovascular diseases and jaw misalignment among other factors. Exposure to sound is particularly detrimental to your ears and to this end, you need to either stay away from loud sounds or use earplugs whenever you are in a noisy environment.
If you already have tinnitus, this is my personal story and how I manage my tinnitus:
How I got Tinnitus
You never know when you get tinnitus as everyone is at a risk. As long as you are exposed to the factors mentioned above, you can get tinnitus. Mine must have resulted from exposure to sound but I have managed to manage and live with it like a normal person. Below are tips to assist you manage tinnitus:
1. 'Forget' Tinnitus
According to research, only a few number of the people having tinnitus are affected by it when distressed or are aware of it every time. The truth is that most of us are now used to the sounds and the noises in our heads and ears just like you get used to the sounds around you like that of an air conditioner or a cooker. This is referred to as habituation. Repetitive sounds are predictable and easy to forget; they are called benign and are unimportant. If there is a sound that you cannot get out of your head, try these simple techniques that work with me:
- Avoid environments and activities that trigger the tinnitus and instead engage in activities and visit environments where tinnitus is less intrusive.
- Tinnitus is more intrusive in silent environments. Introducing a low-level background sound comes handy.
- Practice switching your concentration between the tinnitus voices and bodily sensations a few hours every day.
- Build the tinnitus into a fantasy to reduce the distress it causes. You can picture the sounds of waves into a beach holiday.
- Avoid stress at all costs and resolve issues in your mind before looking at other techniques.
2. Accept Tinnitus and Get Enough Sleep
Tinnitus exhibits itself as a threat to the body thus triggering the fight and flight body system which prepares the body for emergencies. Sometimes you have this feeling that you can cope better or you are not able to deal with tinnitus well. This is because the mind will process tinnitus as dangerous and life threatening. This may go out of control as it happens very fast.
The trick is to acknowledge that you have tinnitus and that you are dealing with it to the best of your ability. If you feel there is room for dealing with it better, think of the steps you can carry out in future to improve how you cope with it. Try not to underrate yourself or get stressed and instead work on reducing the connection between danger and tinnitus.
You may be one among those who believe that tinnitus sounds take away their sleep. However, it is the shift from the noisy day to the quiet bedroom. Try exercising each day, avoid caffeine when going to sleep and have a low-level sound in your bedroom and you will find sleep.
3. Use of Devices
A hearing aid only comes handy when you have a hearing loss but does not help much in tinnitus. However, when tinnitus becomes excessively intrusive, you can use a tinnitus mask. This is a device that cover up the tinnitus sounds. It is more or less like a hearing aid and acts as a distraction. However, using more natural techniques work well with me than the use of a device.
You can always see an audiologist when the condition worsens.