How To Support a Family Member With Tinnitus

How To Support a Family Member With Tinnitus
November 5, 2022 Amazing Hearing Group
How To Support a Family Member With Tinnitus

If you have never had tinnitus, it can be hard to understand what a friend or family member is dealing with. The first step in being able help them is to try and empathise with how they might feel. It is easy to write off their complaints as Imagined, but for the person experiencing tinnitus, the pain can be very real.


How Does It Feel To Have Tinnitus

Tinnitus is most often described as a ringing in the ears, even though no external sound is present. However, tinnitus can also cause other types of phantom noises in your ears, including: buzzing, clicking, hissing, humming.


Signs To Look Out For In Your Family Member

Tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ears which creates an overwhelming environment for the sufferer.

Over time, this can lead to

  • irritability
  • lack of sleep
  • and other issues

If you noticed a loved one is frequently annoyed or has been withdrawing from social gatherings, they may have tinnitus.


What You Can Do To Help a Person Experiencing Tinnitus

If you think a loved one may be suffering from tinnitus, the best thing you can do is to talk to them about it.

Let them know that you are there for them and offer any support that you can. You can also help by:

Researching the condition – This will allow you to better understand what your loved one is going through and how you can help them.


Finding a support group – There are many groups available that can offer support and advice for people with tinnitus. This can be an invaluable resource for both you and your loved one.


Encouraging them to see a doctor – If the condition is severe, it is important to see a doctor so that they can get the proper treatment.


Listening – Sometimes, all your loved one may need is for someone to listen to them and journey with them.


What Lifestyle Changes Is Recommended For a Person Experiencing Tinnitus

Eat healthy food:

While there is no research connecting certain foods to tinnitus relief, a well-rounded diet certainly has its benefits. If your loved one’s high blood pressure seems to be linked with their tinnitus, then following a blood-pressure friendly diet could provide some measure of relief.


Avoid smoking:

Cigarette smoke is loaded with harmful chemicals that can adversely affect hearing, many of which people may not even be aware they are taking into their bodies.

The most popular aspect of cigarette smoke, nicotine, has been connected to the constriction of blood vessels throughout the body. That includes the ones that provide blood to your inner ear. Reducing the amount of blood supply for the portion of the inner ear that sends signals to the brain can result in tinnitus as hair cells responsible for generating impulses become damaged.


Stress relief:

Although medical professionals have not yet confirmed if stress is a leading cause of tinnitus, many people with the condition say that their symptoms are worse when they’re under pressure. For example, someone who also has hearing loss may become more aware of their ringing ears because they’re anxious about not being able to hear well.

Tinnitus caused by an illness, such as high blood pressure, can also worsen from stress over one’s blood pressure numbers. Reducing stress for your family member is a potential help.


Recreational activities:

By providing your family member with opportunities to focus on something other than their tinnitus, you are helping them. For example, if they are focused on a task, they may be able to tune out tinnitus.

Furthermore, anything that occupies your hearing or puts you in a place with distracting but not too loud sounds can help take your mind off tinnitus. Filling one’s time with enjoyable activities and/or nice sound can prevent the annoying experience many tinnitus sufferers encounter when they’re surrounded by complete silence.


Treatment For Tinnitus

Your tinnitus treatment will vary depending on the root cause of your condition. In some cases, treating the underlying health issue will be enough to alleviate symptoms. Examples include:

  • Earwax removal: If you unclog your earwax buildup, your tinnitus symptoms may decrease.
  • Treating a blood vessel condition: If you have an underlying blood vessel condition, you may need to take medication, have surgery, or undergo another treatment to address the problem.
  • Hearing aids: If your tinnitus is from noise or age, hearing aids might help improve your symptoms.

Though often incurable, tinnitus’ effects can be lessened through different treatments. Your doctor may recommend using an electronic device to mask the noise.


Devices include:

  • White noise machines: These devices emit sounds similar to static or natural phenomena like rainfall or ocean waves, which can effectively cover up the ringing in your ears.
  • Masking devices: These small ear devices, similar to hearing aids, emit a continuous low-level white noise that helps to cover up tinnitus symptoms.
  • Other options: Another option is to position pillow speakers around your bed to produce calming white noise as you sleep. Alternatively, climate control appliances such as fans, humidifiers and air conditioners can also generate sufficient background noise to help minimise the disruption of tinnitus at night.


Consult a Hearing Specialist

Some people aren’t very bothered by tinnitus. For other people, tinnitus disrupts their daily lives. If you have tinnitus that bothers you, see your doctor or a hearing specialist in Singapore.

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