I received a lot of calls and emails from folks concerned about my challenge with tinnitus. Questions about cause and treatment. Wikipedia provides a good summary of the affliction here.
In my research, I came across a website that offers products to tinnitus sufferers. And they had a page of Do’s and Don’ts here.
The first don’t is very important and I wish I could have applied this principle a couple of weeks ago when the symptoms first surfaced:
Don”™t despair or panic. The condition can be overcome. You will need to be patient and realize there will be setbacks, trials and tribulations as you move forward to your goal of habituating or no longer perceiving the Tinnitus. It is comforting to note that the vast majority of people who have Tinnitus are eventually able to habituate it. If there is no fear, anxiety, worry or negative emotion associated with Tinnitus sound then the autonomic and limbic system in the brain won’t perceive the sound in a negative light and the sound either goes away or is habituated (the sound is there but not noticed, no longer perceived). If it is noticed it is no more annoying then your air conditioning fan or computer fan. In the beginning if there was no extreme physical or emotional stress the best course of action would be simply to ignore the sound and not to worry about it. For those that have had the condition for a longer period of time Auditory Habituation using sound therapy may be more appropriate.
I would say that going through the worst of it was one of the most stressful periods of my entire adult life. This fellow’s experience mirrored my own reaction to the onset of tinnitus. Although it was only a couple of weeks of stress, it seemed to last a long, long time.
I thought for a little while that all was lost: music and sound. I’m sad to admit that I thought for a little while that I might not be able to cope with the ringing in my head.
All I can say is that I am completely relieved that my own symptoms have receded to a point where it is not creating any stress. I sometimes perceive the tinnitus for a few minutes during my waking hours but I do not worry about it. I function as I have before.
And I am very optimistic that the symptoms that I do hear softly, every once in a while, will no longer be perceived in the weeks and months ahead.
If the sound is not perceived then it is not there.
I consider myself very, very fortunate.