Tinnitus explained simply and easily. What is tinnitus? Why does it happen? How can it be treated? Is there a cure?
Tinnitus, experienced as ringing or noises in your head or ears, when there’s no physical noise externally, really is a physical condition. The noises sound like buzzing, ringing, roaring, humming or whistling in your ears. It’s not in itself a disease. Your body’s hearing system is having problems. Did you know that your body’s hearing (auditory) system includes your brain as well as your ears? It does. Honest.
TINNITUS CAUSES: Some causes that are more common are exposure to sounds that are loud, extreme trauma or stress, and some non-prescription as well as prescription drugs. Make sure you ask your doctor when he or she prescribes any medication if there are any side effects that will exacerbate or cause tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be a symptom of Otosclerosis or Meniere’s disease. Otosclerosis is a cochlear ear problem (hair cells degenerate in your ear) while Meniere’s disease is a swelling ear problem (swelling takes place in your ear duct).
TINNITUS DEBILITATES: It affects people’s ability to life a normal life with normal activities or work and it can be debilitating in extreme ways, such as depression, anxiety or depression attacks, frustration, irritability or tension, sleep problems, and poor concentration. It’s extremely distressful; even suicide thoughts can occur in its early stages.
Although tinnitus has been associated with problems sleeping, other factors like stress really cause insomnia. Poor sleep, followed by fatigue during the day, defines true insomnia. Researchers have found that there is no correlation between pitch of sounds or loudness and sleeping disturbance. Insomnia links to other factors occurring in conjunction with tinnitus, like stress.
TINNITUS AVOIDANCES: Stress can exacerbate tinnitus, yet stress is always part of everyday living. You need to undertake relaxation therapies to reduce your stress levels. The following will help as well: try to remain calm – your tinnitus may get worse if you become agitated; develop some activities and techniques to relax you; do try and avoid any stressful situation; always think in positive ways; avoid exposure to noise that is loud – loud noise also exacerbates tinnitus. You can wear ear plugs or ear muffs when you’re mowing the lawn. Definitely avoid any noisey nightclubs or put on your ear protections.
TINNITUS TREATMENTS: You don’t have to live with tinnitus. You don’t. Really and truly. Yes, there may be no cure, but when you learn some techniques to manage with success your tinnitus, you will be at a point where you will not be bothered by this problem. You can – listen to me now – lead a full and productive life.
Properly fitting and good quality hearing aids can improve your hearing by reducing how you perceive tinnitus. They can also take away any listening strain you’re having. There really are no drugs to treat tinnitus. Nor do acupuncture and alternative medicines help. Forgetabout surgery! It usually aggravates tinnitus. Hypnotherapy indirectly helps by aiding you to be more relaxed. Cognitive behavior, on the other hand, can change the ways you think, control your stress, offer lifestyle changes and teach you how to focus away from this constant annoyance.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES: Diet regimes help. Drink less caffeine (coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate), alcohol and tonic water (quinine).
Pasta and other carbohydrate-rich meals that are followed by eating cake — I kid you not — has a sedating or calming effect. Digest your meal fully before going to bed. Your sleep won’t be disturbed.
Cognitive behavior therapy as well as hypnotherapy can help too. Offered by some clinical psychologists, cognitive behavior changes the ways you think about having tinnitus; teaching some ways to focus away from having tinnitus; and controls stress usually linked with tinnitus. Hypnotherapy has been known to help indirectly with relaxing.
Quit smoking (narrowed blood vessels cannot supply enough oxygen needed to your ears and sensory cells). Be active, both mentally and physically (exercise; keep up your interests and hobbies). Mask your tinnitus (play the radio softly, listen to music that relaxes, like an ocean surf or rain falling.)
Stay away from tinnitus cures. There is no scientific basis to most of them. Always consult your doctor. Remember, when you become habituated, your tinnitus won’t have any negative emotional meaning or unduly impact your life. You’ll sleep better, concentrate better, and improve your anxiety and depression.
TINNITUS HABITUATION: You want to reach a point where it does not play any part in your life’s quality. This is more well-known as “habituation.” You first must undergo some medical tests to rule out any serious illnesses (see above). Meanwhile, don’t be afraid; you’ll never be habituated to tinnitus with fear.
How do you become habituated? You must learn first how your brain will react to any noise. Your mind hears a noise and classifies it as neutral, non-threatening or threatening. Hear that noise again and your mind automatically reacts. (A car’s horn can make you get ready to move out of a car’s path even if you don’t see the car.)
When first your mind hears tinnitus, there is no previous classified noise, so your mind then classifies this sound as a possible threat. Your body and mind are now in a high anxiety state. If your brain continues to perceive tinnitus as threatening, you’ll be anxious every single time you hear it. You must think instead “my tinnitus is non-threatening.” Yes, don’t pay so much attention to it.
Do the following: accept tinnitus (it’s will always be in your life); stop worrying about it; keep yourself busy by focusing on stimulating and enjoyable activities; and try yoga, reflexology, massage, or Tai Chi (stress management and relaxation techniques).
Don’t do the following: live for a miracle cure; work through endless marketed cures; stay angry; feel guilty because you’re not coping as well as you want to; constantly talk with friends and family about it; and monitor, on a constant basis, your tinnitus level.
Tinnitus explained simply and easily. The origin of this word is Latin and means “ringing or tinkling like a bell.” Unfortunately, there is no cure. Yet, tinnitus can be treated. As outlined above, it is also managed much better when you make changes to your lifestyle. Yes, you will be able to manage tinnitus with reducing its negative emotional effects. Also, do avoid fatigue, loud noise and stress; these things exacerbate tinnitus. And, keep a positive attitude; negativity in any way doesn’t work at all.