One of the biggest triggers for tinnitus is stress. This year, between the pandemic, the economy and political uncertainty, it’s safe to say we’re all experiencing an unusual amount of stress. If you’re experiencing worsening or a resurgence of tinnitus symptoms, know that you’re not alone and that there are actions you can take to ease your suffering. Follow our tips below for managing your stress and tinnitus.
Try the ‘Tinnitus Reaction Technique’
Tinnitus, like anger, anxiety and other negative internal experiences, rarely goes from 0 to 100. Even if it escalates quickly, there is usually some time during the ramp-up period where you can identify what’s happening and take steps to keep it from getting worse. Next time this happens to you, rather than ignoring your tinnitus and hoping it goes away on its own, try the Tinnitus Reaction Technique.
- As soon as you begin to notice your tinnitus, stop what you’re doing and find a comfortable position sitting or lying down.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths, relaxing your muscles as much as possible as you exhale.
- Focus on your tinnitus and consider the moments leading up to this one. Recognize that at an earlier time, your tinnitus was much milder and more manageable.
- Remind yourself that every time you’ve had a severe episode, it resolved itself eventually. Remember that this won’t be permanent either.
- Identify a coping skill your audiologist gave you and start using it. Taking action can also keep you from ruminating on the presence of your tinnitus.
Try to Mask Your Tinnitus
One of the greatest coping skills for dealing with tinnitus is to mask it. There are many ways to do this, such as turning on a television, radio, loud fan, air conditioner, white noise, ocean sounds and more. If you have problem finding a method to mask the tinnitus and are feeling overwhelmed by the additional noises, consider these tips:
- Don’t use your phone’s speaker to play masking sounds, as the sound quality is usually poor. This can make the noise seem obnoxious and be more bothersome.
- Test many different masking sounds. What works for some people may not work for you. If you don’t like listening to white noise, you can experiment with different music genres, nature sounds or even other broadband noises like pink/brown noise.
- Use different listening devices. Like your phone speaker, cheap headphones may not deliver great enough sound quality to be helpful. High-fidelity noise-cancelling headphones work great for many people, as do many portable Bluetooth speakers.
For more information on coping with tinnitus, call the experts at Sharp Hearing today.