How To Counteract Your Tinnitus
Nobody quite understands the impact that tinnitus has on your life.
Whether it’s a buzz or a hum – the relentless distracting and headache inducing noise impacts your home life, your work life, and the special moments in life.
With millions of Americans experiencing varying degrees of tinnitus, it’s one of the most common reasons why people turn to hearing care experts like us for help.
That’s because, although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are ways to counteract tinnitus and reduce its impact on your day-to-day life.
Advanced hearing aid technology is one of them with settings built in to play a quiet sound that counterbalances your tinnitus and removes the unrelenting impact it has on your life.
But your first step is to schedule a consultation to review your tinnitus by assessing your hearing and discussing the next steps based on the results.
To get started, you can call us at (541) 612-7555, or complete the form on this page.
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Do you have a question or would you like to speak to one of our hearing care experts? Then complete the form and we’ll call you back shortly.
Frequently Asked Tinnitus Questions
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is one of the most common health conditions in the world and is estimated to affect about 50 million Americans. It is essentially a sound that only you experience, but it may present itself in a variety of different ways, including ringing, hissing, clicking, buzzing, whistling, humming, pulsing, music, pounding, and more. It may feel like it is in one ear or both, or in the center of the head. Regardless of its severity, it can interfere with your concentration and your ability to hear.
Tinnitus may not cause hearing loss, but it does affect your overall quality of life, as it is associated with a number of other problems such as fatigue, sleep difficulties, stress, trouble relaxing, difficulties concentrating, depression, and irritability.
How to deal with Tinnitus
This symptom is often related to tinnitus, but there are several effective ways to manage it. The most important thing to remember is to not avoid sounds altogether. If you do, your ears may adjust to the silence and make the problem worse.
– Keep yourself surrounded with sound you find comfortable
Keeping yourself surrounded with comfortable sounds allows your ears to readjust to everyday noises. You can do this by listening to the TV or the radio, playing recordings of nature sounds, and other similar activities.
– Listen to sounds you enjoy
If there are certain types of sounds that bother you, listening to sounds you enjoy as often as you can may help you build up a tolerance to those you don’t.
– Only wear hearing protection if absolutely necessary
Again, this is to prevent you from avoiding sound. Only use ear protection when sounds are dangerously or uncomfortably loud (around power tools, at loud concerts, etc.), and remove it as soon as you can once the sound level is safe.
How to manage Tinnitus?
The most successful ways of managing tinnitus depend on a comprehensive discussion between you and your audiologist. There are many different management approaches for tinnitus, but their success varies depending on the person. We have outlined a number of them below.
– Hearing Aids
Hearing aids often reduce and sometimes eliminate tinnitus, especially with people that experience hearing loss in conjunction with tinnitus. They allow you to hear environmental sounds, which allows the brain to focus on sounds other than the ones generated by the tinnitus, while also enhancing your communication abilities. They may also reduce stress as listening becomes easier. Some hearing aids have the option to generate additional sounds, such as white noise, which may provide tinnitus relief.
– Progressive Tinnitus Management
Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM) is a tinnitus management education and support program designed to meet specific individuals’ needs. It is an evidence-based approach developed by the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) of the Administration of Veterans Affairs in Portland, Oregon. PTM combines benefits from a variety of other methods including: Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, Sound Therapy, appropriate amplification, group or individual educational sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy, guided self management and individualized treatment plans.
– Habituation and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a method developed by Dr. Pawel Jastreboff at Emory University whose goal is to reduce the perception of tinnitus by using other sounds that make the tinnitus less noticeable. Over time, these other sounds are taken away as a person adjusts to the sound of their tinnitus. TRT therapy typically lasts 18-24 months to gain the maximum benefit.
– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This counseling approach teaches you to identify how you react to the tinnitus and then learn new responses, thereby reducing the associated negative thoughts and reactions.
– Stress Management
Tinnitus often causes stress and stress has been clinically proven to cause or make tinnitus worse. The key to successful stress management is to find the best method that fits your needs and lifestyle. Biofeedback assisted relaxation can help a person learn to control breathing, muscle tension, and heart rate. Other successful techniques include Yoga, exercise, breathing techniques, hypnosis, and meditation.
– Sound Therapy
Sound therapy has been successful in reducing the effects of tinnitus. It is provided by commercially available programs, such as Neuromonics, as well as non-commercial sound therapy.
What makes Tinnitus worse?
– Loud Noise
Loud noise can not only make tinnitus worse, but it can also cause permanent damage to hearing. Ask your audiologist about the various options for noise protection.
Tinnitus often causes stress and stress has been clinically proven to cause or make tinnitus worse.
– Sleeping Poorly
Sleeping poorly may cause or make the tinnitus worse. See a medical professional to address troubles with sleeping and any underlying causes.
– Vitamin Deficiencies
Having a deficiency of the daily recommended amount of certain vitamins (like vitamin D, E, B12, magnesium, and more) may make tinnitus worse. Your primary care doctor should be able to let you know if you have low levels of these nutrients.
Caffeine increases stress on the body and in large quantities is thought to make tinnitus worse. If you have sleeplessness related to tinnitus, avoid caffeine for 4-6 hours before bedtime.
– Excessive Alcohol
Consuming alcohol in large quantities (more than 7-8 servings a week) makes existing tinnitus worse.
– Ototoxic Medications
Many ototoxic (ear damaging) medications can cause tinnitus and/or make existing tinnitus worse. In some cases, such as aspirin, the effects are reversible when a person stops using the drug. In other cases, the damage is permanent, so be sure to discuss your medications with your audiologist.
Nicotine can increase tinnitus and, is thought to cause tinnitus in some cases. It may also add to sleeplessness.
One symptom of dehydration may be tinnitus. By drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day, dehydration can be avoided.
– Recreational Drugs
Many recreational drugs have been shown to make tinnitus worse, and in many cases may be the original cause.
Book a Hearing Assessment
If you are ready to schedule your hearing assessment, then you can complete the form on this page or you can call us at (541) 612-7555.
We’ll then be able to find a convenient time and book you some time with our team of hearing care experts.
We look forward to seeing you soon.