What Is Tinnitus?
The overwhelming majority of people who suffer from tinnitus describe it as a ringing in their ears that is not caused by any external noise or cause.
While tinnitus is a very uncomfortable condition, its experience varies. Some individuals hear humming, buzzing, chirping, hissing, roaring, or shrieking sounds. The noise may originate in one or both ears and be felt inside the head or at a distance; it can also be continuous or continual. In some situations, the sound is so loud it might affect your ability to focus on other sounds.
In some circumstances, tinnitus has a tumultuous pulsating or whooshing sound linked with your heart rate, known as pulsatile tinnitus.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus affects nearly everyone at some time or another. It might be caused by hearing loss, loud noises, wax in the ear canal, certain medical issues, diet, and even anxiety.
- Hearing loss — If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken — this happens as you age or when you are frequently exposed to loud noises — they might “leak” random electrical impulses to your brain, resulting in tinnitus.
- Hairs in your inner ear are damaged — As we get older or are constantly exposed to loud noises, these tiny hair cells in your inner ear may break down and “leak” random electric impulses to your brain, resulting in tinnitus.
- Ear infection or ear canal blockage — A buildup of fluid (ear infection), earwax, dirt or other foreign materials may obstruct your ear canals. A blockage might shift the pressure in your ears and result in tinnitus.
- Head or neck injuries — Tinnitus can be caused by injury to the inner ear, hearing nerves, or brain functions linked to hearing. Tinnitus is typically only experienced in one ear after such injuries.
- Medications — Tinnitus can be caused by or exacerbated by a variety of medications. The higher the dose of these drugs, generally, the more severe tinnitus becomes. When you cease taking these medicines, the unwanted sound typically goes away.
Things You Can Do To Help Manage Your Tinnitus
(1) Train Your Brain To Tune It Out – Habituation
The good news is that it is possible to block out sounds of tinnitus, thereby managing this condition.
There are two distinct problems that a person with tinnitus can face when trying to tune out or disregard the ringing in their ears.
- Stress during threat sensing: The biological need to communicate with others developed because humans were social creatures living in small, close-knit communities. When we hear a sound that our brain interprets as threatening, we get a fight-or-flight stress response.
Your five senses become more sensitive, which is part of the problem: It’s hard to ignore any sound that might threaten your brain.
- Fear: Tinnitus may make you feel like an impending disaster is lurking around every corner, but for anxious brains, it’s hard to distinguish actual danger from imagined danger.
Habituation is key:
To get rid of tinnitus, you must first remove the roadblocks that prevent habituation from taking place naturally. In a nutshell, this implies altering how you feel about the sound emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically.
When the sound no longer engages you, you will begin to pay less attention to it without having to make an effort, just like you do with all other meaningless background noise.
Understanding why habituation is possible is only half of the solution. It also needs a solid approach, effort, discipline, and time to see results. And the process isn’t accomplished in a day or two.
Our brains can start to link the feeling of relaxation with the sound of my tinnitus, allowing us to tune out tinnitus.
(2) Try Brain Exercises
Brain HQ is a great online game that has been found to improve tinnitus patients’ understanding, memory, attention, and concentration.
(3) Shift Your Focus
Tinnitus is one of those problems that the more we focus on it, the worse it gets.
Trying to draw your attention away from tinnitus into something else, this can help to decrease its impact on you.
Create tactics to deal with those occasions when you know it’ll be a difficult day, such as at night. The more knowledgeable someone is about the illness, the simpler it is to handle symptoms.
(4) Make Sure You Do Not Have a Lack of Sleep
A lack of sleep has been linked to tinnitus in numerous countries across the world.
Limit your screen time after a certain hour at night.
After a specific hour each day, reduce your caffeine intake.
To assist shut off the brain, do some relaxation or deep breathing exercises right before going to bed.
(5) Use Deep Breathing Exercises & Stress Management Tools
Tinnitus and stress are somewhat connected, although the relationship between them isn’t clear. Stress can still trigger tinnitus in some individuals.
Tools or even Yoga that focus on deep breathing and stress management might be beneficial.
(6) Use White Noise Machines
White noise machines, a low fan, or music can all be used to alleviate quiet areas like your bedroom at night. Tinnitus is most common in quiet situations. Using low-level sound to help drown out the ringing of tinnitus at night might assist you in falling asleep.
(7) Get Your Hearing Tested
When the brain doesn’t get enough sensory input, it creates its own. This is why treating hearing loss and restoring the brain’s sensory input can help with tinnitus.
For some people, tinnitus symptoms subside quickly when they address their hearing deficit.
Consult Amazing Hearing Today
Feel free give us a call or book an appointment with us if you would like a complementary consultation over this period. Get a free hearing test from us, or consult our hearing aids specialist in Singapore.