Support from our loved ones can make a significant difference in how effectively we cope during times of stress. Living with tinnitus is one stressor where leaning on your friends and family is essential. Let’s take a closer look at tinnitus and how you can help your friends and family experiencing it feel supported and cared for.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the presence of a sound in the ears that cannot be attributed to an external source. Depending on the type of tinnitus and the person experiencing it, the sound may present as a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, whooshing or pulsing noise. The volume and frequency of tinnitus will also range from person to person and may be affected or triggered by factors including caffeine, stress, lack of sleep, loud noise exposure and more. In approximately 10% of tinnitus cases, the condition interferes with everyday life so much that it requires audiological intervention.
How Can You Help?
It is common for those suffering from tinnitus to feel helpless. Because the noise cannot be heard from the outside, they may feel there is nothing to do. In these cases, providing support can be the first step towards symptom management. A few ways you can offer your support include:
- Acknowledge their tinnitus. Dealing with an invisible condition can cause stress and frustration. Start by acknowledging that you know tinnitus can feel burdensome. Sometimes, something as simple as feeling seen can make all the difference in the world.
- Promote relaxation. Stress is a common trigger for tinnitus. Help your loved one relax by taking them to a yoga class, watching movies or heading to Franklin Books to pick up the next novel in their favorite series.
- Encourage them to see an audiologist. An audiologist can help your loved one find symptom relief through hearing aids, sound masking, cognitive behavioral therapy and more. Even with all they offer, many people may feel scared to attend their first audiology appointment. Offer to go with them to take notes and offer support.
By acknowledging their tinnitus, promoting relaxation and encouraging them to see an audiologist, you can make a huge difference in your loved one’s tinnitus experience. To discuss tinnitus management with one of our trusted specialists, contact Sharp Hearing – The Audiology Center today.