7 Tips for Living with Tinnitus
Audiology professionals describe tinnitus as a phantom auditory perception of a sound in the absence of an external sound signal. Patients often feel isolated and convinced that no one can understand what they are going through. Because tinnitus has many causes, a specific medication or general cure is rarely available. However, even for chronic tinnitus, there are ways to take control and find relief. Below are seven tips that we hope will help alleviate your discomfort from “ringing in the ears.”
Re-learn how you hear.
Listen consciously to the world around you. Enjoy your favorite music or simply the sound of birds in the trees. Everything that provides your ears with varied sound impressions deflects attention away from tinnitus.
Aim for recuperative sleep.
The more active you are during the day, the easier it is to sleep at night. Avoid black tea, coffee or heavy meals in the evening. Neither alcohol nor sleeping pills guarantee restful sleep — in fact, alcohol can contribute to insomnia. A warm bath before you go to bed is a better option.
Get active, stay social.
Relish life with family and friends. Organize your private life to include plenty of activity and variety. Stay open to new experiences. Everything that increases your personal sense of well-being and enjoyment of life decreases tinnitus’ hold over it.
Give yourself a break from noise now and again. However, avoid complete silence, which can make you hyper-focus on tinnitus sounds. Opt for enjoyable sources of sound stimulus, such as an audio book or relaxing music.
Stay physically fit.
People who participate in sports are healthier in general. Everything that you enjoy doing and improves your physical fitness is good for you. Even if your tinnitus seems louder when engaging in sports, try not to let it keep you from the activities you enjoy. Focus instead on the sounds of your activity — e.g., a basketball bouncing while you shoot hoops, birds chirping as you jog through the park, or water swishing as you swim in a pool.
Learn to relax effectively.
Because tinnitus causes tension, it is important to learn relaxation methods and use them regularly. Some recommended relaxation methods include meditation, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong.
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* Powers, L., dos Santos, G.M., & Jons, C. (2016, September). Notch Therapy: A new approach to tinnitus treatment. AudiologyOnline, Article 18365.