Tinnitus: If you have it, you know it.
Tinnitus is that annoying and persistent ringing; buzzing or clicking you may hear in one or both of your ears. For some, it is a high-pitched ringing that occurs 24/7. For others, tinnitus can sound as loud as a chainsaw and come and go for no apparent reason at all. Others still report a loud banging sound that is consistent with each heartbeat. Whatever type of tinnitus you suffer from the results are often the same.
Tinnitus is obnoxious, annoying and often downright maddening or exhausting.
While there is not currently a cure for tinnitus, there are, luckily, ways to manage it and keep its frustrating effects at bay. If tinnitus is getting in the way of your quality of life or sleep, following these tips may help you better manage your tinnitus.
- Get your hearing checked. We put this one first not because of the job that we do, but because tinnitus is often the first sign of hearing loss. For some people, tinnitus may be your auditory system’s way of “creating” sounds it is missing due to a hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss that can be treated with hearing aids, there are many options that have built in tinnitus relief. These aids are perfect for people who suffer from both of these issues and they have had great results for many patients. If you haven’t had your hearing checked yet, your tinnitus relief may just be a hearing aid away.
- Check your medicine cabinet. A staggering 590 medications and drugs have been linked to tinnitus and/or hearing loss. These drugs include both prescription and over-the-counter medications for a multitude of ails from minor aches and pains, to depression or even cancer. If you notice ringing in your ears after taking a certain medicine, reach out to your doctor right away to discuss a possible change of meds. It is also important to tell your doctor all the over-the-counter and prescription medicines and vitamins you currently take, as many times it is a combination of multiple drugs that cause the tinnitus symptoms.
- Watch your diet. In general, the healthier one eats, the more likely their tinnitus stays at bay. In particular, it has been found that a Mediterranean diet – high in fish oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fruits and seeds, are great for keeping tinnitus under wraps. Try to avoid red meats, processed foods, trans fat and refined sugars the best you can. It has also been found that specific foods such as chocolate, caffeine, cheese or wine may trigger tinnitus and make it worse.
- Fake it ‘till you make it. Tinnitus tends to be an issue of noise relativity. It seems to bother us less when we are in a busy restaurant and more when we are trying to fall asleep at night. An easy strategy for taming tinnitus is to use background noise to distract us from it. For example, listening to peaceful music or white noise may help us be better able to drown out our tinnitus when it is the most bothersome.
- Consider stress-relief techniques or therapy. Tinnitus can be a bit of a catch 22, whereby it can make us sleepless, irritated or anxious. On the other hand, sleeplessness, irritation and anxiety tend to make tinnitus worse. It is important to employ any strategies that work for you to remain as calm and stress-free as possible. Mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques work for some people, whereby others opt for more structured cognitive behavior therapy, biofeedback therapy or sound therapy.
Who Gets Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can make a person feel very alone and isolated, especially when surrounded by people who do not understand how annoying it can be. When in the thicket with your tinnitus, it is important to remember that you are not alone. In fact, it is estimated that about 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, and it is the most commonly reported injury for soldiers returning from combat.
How AZ Balance & Hearing Aids Can Help
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, reach out to our friendly team today. We look forward to working with you in an effort to find you relief from the obnoxious symptoms of your tinnitus. Relief may be a lot closer than you think.