Learning To Love Life Again With Tinnitus

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Lifestyle Columnist


Published in Lifestyle on 29th November, 2018


For those who have it, tinnitus can be a difficult condition to deal with. It can make enjoying life harder, and for some it may even start to effect their sanity.

what is tinnitus

While it typically isn't a serious health issue, it can be annoying for those who have it. Some may find that it really causes struggles in their ability to focus, stay calm or otherwise get through day-to-day tasks. To help, let's take a look at some tips for coping with this annoying condition!

What Is Tinnitus?

On the most basic level, tinnitus is a condition that results in the sound of ringing or other sounds in your ears. Typically, it's a symptom of an underlying issue such as hearing loss, circulatory system issues or injury to the ear.

Furthermore, it's a common issue that can be experienced by one in every five people. That's a pretty high amount! Generally, it also doesn't have one single cure. The cure can depend on what the cause may be and whether or not it's something treatable. Otherwise, those who have it have to learn to cope.

Types Of Tinnitus

When one has tinnitus, they can experience a number of kinds of sounds in their ears, which can range from ringing to clicking, hissing, roaring or even buzzing. It's also important to keep in mind that other people typically can't hear these sounds, only the person experiencing it.

In some cases, the sufferer may also find that they only hear it in one ear, or it may be in both. There can also be instances where the sound seems to be very loud, which can make it much more difficult to deal with. In other instances, it may seem to come and go.

What Causes Tinnitus?

There can be a variety of different causes for tinnitus. Typically, common causes include too much exposure to loud sounds, changes occurring in the ear bone, hearing loss related to age or a blockage of ear wax.

what causes tinnitus

In other cases, causes may also be due to disorders of the temporomandibular joint, abnormal pressure of inner ear fluid indicating Meniere's Disease, Acoustic neuroma or injuries in the neck or head. There can also be cases where it's caused by medications or blood vessel issues. A number of causes can result in tinnitus, making it somewhat difficult to diagnose.

Tips For Loving Life With Tinnitus

If you have tinnitus and struggle with loving your life in spite of it, you aren't alone! The following tips can help you to find ways to keep it limited in your life. That way, you can keep living and loving even when the ringing in your ears might seem like too much.

Do Calm Activities

Stress isn't helpful when it comes to dealing with tinnitus. The cycle that can occur between the two can become annoying and adds to the stress even more. Our hearing systems are sensitive, and can be disrupted rather easily, and stress makes that disruption worse.

So when you're feeling especially tense, it's a good idea to find a calming activity. Take a hot bath, relax with some calming music, meditate or do something else that eases your stress. This is good not only for the tinnitus, but also for your health overall.

Use White Noise

White noise can be very helpful in blocking out some of the annoyance that tinnitus can cause. For those who aren't familiar with it, white noise is very much like the static noise you can get from a TV or radio. It can be very useful in keeping the sounds at bay during quiet times.

use white noise tinnitus

You can also use this sound in a number of ways. It can be as simple as turning on some white noise on your TV, radio or through a static program. Otherwise, you can also use wearable white noise devices, similar to a hearing aid as well as phone apps to ease you in the quiet times.

Keep Stress And Anxiety Minimal

Anxiety and stress are rough on your health, regardless of whether or not you have tinnitus. With tinnitus, it can make the symptoms worse and send you into an unpleasant spiral. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to avoid these issues.

From meditation and walks to bringing pets into your life, your methods for keeping yourself calm and happy as much as possible are going to be uniquely you. Consequently, it can take some trial and error to figure out which methods work best to suit your needs.

Use Sound To Your Advantage

For many with tinnitus, the silence is when it becomes the most troublesome. Consequently, many will find ways to avoid silence as much as possible. This can mean keeping music on, leaving the TV on or using white noise to keep the intrusive sounds from invading.

As you do this, it's important to keep in mind the needs of those around you. Sometimes it might be better to use a less disruptive form of sound to help you without bothering others. Something like a fan or personal white noise device might be just the ticket to hearing freedom.

Diet and Exercise

Keeping your health together can do wonders to help with the effects that tinnitus can have on your psyche. While it may not stop the tinnitus itself, when you're feeling great it can be easier to ignore that one specific issue.

diet and exercise tinnitus

So make sure that you eat well, including lots of vegetables, fruit and plant-based proteins and avoid excess amounts of sugar. In addition, drink plenty of water to keep your body well-hydrated. Regular exercise can also do a lot to keep you feeling great! When it all comes together, you may notice that the tinnitus isn't as bothersome to you as it used to be.

Seek Treatment

It's always worth finding out if your tinnitus is treatable. If you find that it is coming from a cause that can be treated, then you'll be one step closer to potentially getting rid of it for good. Who doesn't want to be able to enjoy the silence rather than seek to avoid it?

However, even if it isn't a treatable cause then you can still get help to cope with it. There are likely options your doctor can provide to make it more manageable. For some of us, that's really all we need!

Use Hearing Protection

While hearing protection is largely a preventative measure for hearing loss-related tinnitus, losing more hearing if you already have tinnitus certainly isn't going to help anything. Whether you have it or not, taking care of your hearing can save you a lot of frustration in the future.

So when you know you're going to be around louder noises, whether it's due to on-the-job sounds, concerts or anything else that might get loud, make sure to use some gentle earplugs. It really can't help to just keep some on you at all times just in case!

Learn Your Triggers

Think about when your tinnitus is at it's worst. Is it after hearing something loud, or perhaps when everything else is silent? Do you struggle to get to sleep because of it? Knowing these things can help you to find solutions for managing your tinnitus in the best ways possible.

Once you locate these triggers, you can start to find ways around them. Perhaps you need some white noise when going to sleep, or to use hearing protection around loud events. If sleep is a problem, then using personal white noise devices, a fan or other sounds may help to provide some comfort.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

Getting enough sleep is just one more way to keep your overall health in check. It can also help with avoiding the anxiety and stress that can worsen your susceptibility to tinnitus. Overall, sleep is incredibly important to our health, so make sure you're getting plenty of it!

get plenty of sleep

Typically, adults should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Keep in mind that this may differ for you slightly, so it's important to pay attention to your natural rhythms. Also, remember that oversleeping can sometimes leave you just as tired as not getting enough sleep!

Create Comfort Outside The Tinnitus

Generally speaking, the healthier and more comfortable you are outside of the issues with tinnitus, the easier it will be to deal with those issues. So make sure that any other health problems are under control. Maintain a healthy weight, regular exercise and good hydration.

In addition, take care of your mental and emotional health as well. It's important to make sure issues like anxiety, depression, stress and anything else that may effect your happiness is addressed. That way, you can feel as good as possible, and strong enough to handle the annoyances tinnitus can bring when it comes your way.

Stay Out Of Your Head

Getting trapped up in rumination can not only increase stress, it can make the tinnitus seem more prominent. While it's great to engage in some introspection from time to time, frequent rumination can paralyze us, and it leaves you susceptible to the annoyance of the tinnitus sounds.

stay out of your head tinnitus

Instead, focus on doing and on limiting your tinnitus triggers. Keep white noise, a TV show, podcast or music handy to give your mind something to focus on aside from the tinnitus and try to move through your tasks for the day as efficiently as possible. You may find that soon you're not paying attention to the tinnitus at all!

Normalize It

For many with tinnitus, it's not going to go away any time soon. Consequently, it doesn't help to try to fight it, get frustrated with it or allow it to annoy you too much. It can often be possible that once you accept it's not going anywhere, you learn to cope with it naturally.

That isn't to say that you shouldn't use tools to try to minimize it, just to avoid spending too much energy on struggling with it. Coming from someone who also has tinnitus, it's better to focus on the things in your life that you do have control over.

Be Patient With Yourself

Most of all, avoid struggling with yourself. We all have issues we wish we could change. Sometimes we can make those changes, and sometimes we simply have no control over it. Consequently, it's important to take control of the things you can, and try not to sweat what you can't.

In the long run, this can really help to cut down on stress and the struggle that tinnitus can bring. It can also generally leave you feeling much happier and more satisfied with your life as a whole. Along with the rest of the tips listed here, it's sure to help a lot!

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