Tinnitus is an extremely common, yet untalked about topic when it comes to issues with your hearing. It affects a vast number of people nationwide and many don’t even report it. It’s basically an unwarranted sound that you can hear, but usually others can’t. The sounds can range from a click, hum, or a low/high pitched ring.The origins can differ whether it be from loud machinery, an explosion, diseases or from overuse of medications. Regardless, it’s an extremely annoying and relentless issue that many are faced with. There’s no true way to get rid of it for good, but there are various ways that you can suppress it enough to live a normal and healthy life.
Treatment for Adverse Health Conditions
The very first step with any fully licensed auidiologist would be to definitely check for any/all remnants of ear wax. It seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people slack when it comes to cleaning out their own ears. Any forms of serious impactions in your inner ear could worsen the tinnitus symptoms. Another common symptom to look for would be if you have any blood vessel conditions. If blood isn’t pumping properly in and around your ears, than once again this could worsen the tinnitus. As talked about previously, medications can be one of the causes of tinnitus in the first place. So being able to look at any recent prescriptions you’ve started taking and hopefully eliminating them, may be able to lessen the effects of the tinnitus.
If all the aforementioned checks out, then you may want to try to actively suppressing the annoyance of it in your ear. The most commonly used is a white sound machine. They come in various forms. You can buy an actual machine that would sit on your nightstand or simply download a free app on your smartphone. Whether it be the sound of a campfire, a babbling brook, a thunderstorm, wind chimes, or TV static, they all assist in drowning out that wretched sound in your ears. If someone does have tinnitus, there’s nothing worse than trying to go to bed and listening to dead air. Another obvious solution would be some form of wearable electronic aid to go in the ear. Hearing aids are the most widely known, and can also aid with hearing loss. Another option is called a masking device, which is fairly similar to a hearing aid. Instead of boosting the volume around you like a hearing aid would, it constantly produces a low-tone white noise that “masks” the tinnitus.
Yes, that’s right you may be in fact the one causing the tinnitus to worsen. Your brain subconsciously plays a big roll into how the tinnitus affects your day to day life. The old adage of, “If you don’t mind it, it don’t matter” can be applied to tinnitus getting you all stressed out and ruining your day. By going to certain types of therapy that cover what called cognitive-behavioral and acceptance therapy could allow you to live a life painstakingly free of tinnitus. Another obvious one that many overlook is our posture. How many of you have a desk job and are reading this while slumped over your desk? Due to the nerve/muscle connection super-highways in our necks, there’s a chance you could be making the tinnitus worse off because of the lack of good posture.
How your mouth and jaw interacts with your body is another aspect to look at when trying to lower the effects of tinnitus. Potential triggers could be grinding your teeth while sleeping or when you’re stressed out at work. Spending the majority of your day chewing gum or eating sticky foods in general can set it off as well. The biggest factor with this is temporomandibular disorder which brings on jaw pain and eventually the onset of the ringing. Getting quality sleep can also take the edge off from stress, which therefore induces and brings on the tinnitus. The last and most in depth option is meditation. This will more than likely take the longest to see a result from, but it requires no additional doctor visits, hearing devices, or medication. It’s completely up to you as the patient to do the work involved in order to see quality results. There have been cases in the past where individuals with severe tinnitus, purposely focused on the actual ringing and adapted their mind to the sound. What this means is that by this purpose driven meditation and focusing on the sound they’ve grown to hate, they ended up adapting their mind to not look at it as harmful. The idea is to make the sound that has caused you grief, connected to your meditation and therefore your brain eventually muting out the sound.
At the end of the day, tinnitus is a serious condition that you should get a hearing check for if you feel that you have it. There are workarounds in order to lessen the effects of tinnitus, but in the end there isn’t an actual cure for it. Look at all the available options and see what works for you and your lifestyle.