Tinnitus

It was almost two years ago that tinnitus emerged. A particularly dark time in my life as posted here.

I have had several people ask me about the battle with tinnitus. And, although it is certainly always there, it is never really there. In other words, I do not notice it most of the time. And for the times that I do notice it, I do not have any emotional response. To me, when I do perceive tinnitus, it is a bit like the noise of a computer fan. Present but not really noticeable.

The best counsel I can give to someone suffering from tinnitus is what I took from this website:

1. 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.

2. Don”™t believe all the negative literature, negative counseling and horror stories. When a physician tells you “You need to just live it”? don”™t believe it. There is a lot that can be done and there is a lot of reason for hope. The “wall of worry”? followed by a negative emotional response is exactly what makes the condition worse. Unfortunately, many “Resources”? out there don”™t provide sufferers with much hope and practical suggestions. As a result the condition simply worsens.

3. Avoid trying so called “miracle cures”? that are not supported by medical research. If a miracle cure fails your stress and anxiety levels will be increased. Again, the “wall of worry”? followed by a negative emotional response is exactly what makes the condition worse.

4. Despite all the negative press more likely than not Tinnitus from a loud event (Disco Tinnitus) may go away as long as you don”™t worry and develop a deep emotional response to it. Let it go its course and get plenty of rest and sleep. The worst case in most situations is that after treatment you will habituate or be able to ignore the Tinnitus. The noise may be there but most of the time you won”™t notice it or perceive it as annoying. This is the subject of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). See attached links if you wish to find a professional registered in this technique.

5. No regrets. Although it is good to understand the events leading up to the tinnitus don”™t beat yourself up over the cause or whether you could have avoided it. Don”™t beat yourself up over events in your control that you feel have made it worse. Practice a no regrets policy; it is all water under the bridge. These kinds of things happen and you would be surprised to find out how many people you know have been affected by Tinnitus in some way. It is good to determine what the cause was as this will allow you to understand the condition and move on. Was it a loud noise, severe emotional or physical stress, or an illness that led to the onset of the ear noise?

6. Early on, it is often better to avoid using ear plugs or other hearing protection unless you are in fact protecting yourself from expected loud noises especially if you are hypersensitive to sound (i.e. people talking, loud children). The continual use of earplugs may trigger hyper sensitive hearing or Hypercausis in some individuals. (Consult your physician)

7. Focus on the positive. Despite widespread literature to the contrary the worst case is that with treatment you will habituate the sound after a period of time. This means eventually most of the time you won”™t notice it. Studies have shown this occurs despite the pitch of the sound or the volume level. The best case is that the sound simply goes away.

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