You know it’s not there, but it feels so real, hollers in your ear constantly, gives you anxiety and keeps you up at night. No, we’re not talking about the monsters living under your childhood bed, we’re talking about tinnitus. For those of us who suffer from tinnitus, we understand how overwhelming, annoying and frustrating the ringing, buzzing, humming or clicking in our ears can sound. It makes matters even worse that we fully know and understand that the noises we hear are not actually there, but they have the potential to bother us so badly.
What is Tinnitus?
The answer to this question is frankly still a bit hazy throughout the medical field. It is still uncertain what exactly causes tinnitus, but we do know it can be caused by certain medications or prolonged exposure to loud noises. We also know that tinnitus is almost always – about 90% of the time – accompanied with hearing loss. Tinnitus is a phantom sound that only the sufferer can hear, because for some reason the brain believes these sounds are present when they are most certainly not. The phantom sounds differently for different people. Some people hear a ringing noise, while others hear a buzzing, clicking or humming. Tinnitus can happen in one or both of your ears and is typically most bothersome during quiet times or when trying to fall asleep at night.
Finding Relief from Tinnitus
For some people, tinnitus is an annoying sidebar while for others it greatly impacts daily activities. No matter how badly your tinnitus symptoms bother you, there are some steps you can take, starting today, to find some real relief from it.
- Practice Daily Tinnitus Mindfulness Strategies – Whatever you like to call it – mindfulness strategies, meditation, silent prayer – spending a few minutes a day with a blank mind and in silence has been shown to do wonders for your overall health and happiness. For those of us with tinnitus, silence can seem like a faraway dream. When attempting to meditate – focusing on nothing is key. However, how do those of us with tinnitus focus on nothing when there is a boisterous ringing blasting in our ears? What if instead of trying to ignore your tinnitus, you actually focused on it instead? This practice is used daily by Glen Schweitzer author of Rewiring Tinnitus: How I Finally Found Relief From the Ringing in My Ears. In this book, Schweitzer discusses how he used his tinnitus as something to focus on during meditation and how this practice gave him relief from the very first time he tried it. After making this meditation a daily routine, Schweitzer writes that his tinnitus no longer bothers him in his everyday life.
- Change Your Sleep Routine – Because tinnitus is often most bothersome at night, changing your sleep routine can greatly improve your symptoms. Try training your brain for sleep by going to bed at the exact same time each night, and following the same exact routine when you do so. This will eventually trigger your brain to become sleepy when the routine starts. This routine should not include screen time. The light emanated from the screen simulates sunlight and confuses our brain into thinking it is day, thus limiting the melatonin production necessary for sleep. A few other good strategies include cutting out caffeine after noon, and keeping your bedroom colder and as absolutely pitch black as possible (https://rewiringtinnitus.com/how-to-fall-asleep-with-tinnitus/).
- Know Your Triggers – If you know when and why your tinnitus is at its worst, you can help reduce triggers when possible and better prepare for tinnitus when it is inevitable. You can keep track of your tinnitus by jotting down when it is bothering you in a notebook, however, it may be even more helpful to use something like the tinnitus tracker that can be downloaded for free, here: https://rewiringtinnitus.com/journal/. This “journal” tracks diet, exercise, caffeine intake, daily activities and even the weather to help you better understand your own habits and how they may be making your tinnitus better or worse.
Visit Us at Hear Care
Are you searching for tinnitus relief? Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand in hand. To take a hearing test, contact us at Hear Care. We provide comprehensive hearing health services for the entire family.