Your Tinnitus Questions Answered
Hello! So I received the questions from Alex, and here are my answers. I hope you will find it useful:
“I’m not actually a man, but I figure tinnitus is a pretty gender neutral affliction ;) My question would be, what’s the best way to get over it?” – Skellie
Tinnitus is affecting men a little more often than women. Hearing loss and tinnitus are well connected, and more men than women work in noisy places (construction, industry, musicians) and there also seems to be a slight male overweight in tinnitus cases without noise exposure, also among young people. But lets get back to your question. You will not get rid of it in the sense that a wound will heal or like recovering from a broken bone.
This goes for tinnitus coming from noise or damage to your central nerve system caused by certain drugs and medicines. But there is also the possibility that your tinnitus origins from tension in your neck, jaw, back, or even your muscles in your face. A few very simple but helpful tips:
1. Relax. This can be really hard, when all you can concentrate about is the hissing sound in your head. But try anyway. Go and see a therapist or chiropractist, learn how to relax maybe using yoga or meditation.
2. Exercise more. Exercise, especially that kind where you use all your strength and stamina, like running, playing football, martial arts or boxing, are good. You will focus 100% at the activity, get caught up in the action, and will forget the sound, giving your central nerve system a break, and so to say teaching yourself that you don’t have to focus on the sound 100% of your time. And it the same time, you will get fitter. Not bad, huh?
3. Enjoy the natural sounds surrounding you. Try to really listen actively to cars, the wind in the trees, the radio playing in the background. Train your central nerve system to focus at other sounds, like your feet while walking. It takes some time, but it´s all about training.
4. Don´t be afraid. Remember, this is just a sound. And sounds don´t hurt you. They are not dangerous. If you react to the sound like the sound of the fridge humming (and that´s not annoying, is it?) your tinnitus will take its proper place in your consciousness, gradually fading away.
5. Get your healthy sleep. If you have severe sleeping problems, it’s OK to take sleeping pills from time to time. These drugs are now not as addictive as they used to be, and mentally it´s nice to have them as a backup. Just having them will relax you. And that’s good.
Skellie, without knowing you or anything about your tinnitus, these are a few useful tips how to get on top of your tinnitus, controlling it and eventually notice it fade away into complete silence. This happened to me after 19 months of tinnitus, where the first year was quite bad. Now, I hardly notice it, and from time to time I experience complete silence for days. Good luck!
“I went to this really loud concert a few days ago, and afterwards I noticed that my hearing was somewhat muffled and I notice a not very loud but irritating high-pitched tone in my right ear. Should I worry, go see the doctor or just relax and see what happens?” – Rufus
Hi Rufus, by now, I hope your hearing is ok again. You have experienced a noise trauma, where your whole inner ear and especially your hair cells in your cochlea have been working overtime.
If this is the first time you experience this, chances are very good that your tinnitus will disappear within a few days.
Some of your hair cells are now probably dead – and they will not come back. The ones you have left must be protected.
1. No loud music. Don’t use your iPod, and if you do, keep the volume very low.
2. Wear protection. Next time you go to a concert, or know you will be exposed to noise, wear protection. You can easily get something from the drugstore for a few dollars, or invest a little more and get the type of protection professional musicians use: They don’t disturb the frequencies, so you will still enjoy all sounds and the music, but instead of the full 100 db blast to your ears, you will be exposed to 75 db. And that’s all it takes to save your ears from further damage.
3. Give your ears a break. You don’t have to listen to music all the time, go for a walk in a quiet place like in the woods or enjoy the silence while diving, that kind of silence. It´s pure medicine for your ears.
“I´m a guy (28) who for as long as I can remember had something I only can describe as a buzzing or whistling sound in my head, like a TV set not tuned into any channel. It doesn´t really bother me that much, but what is it? It gets worse when I´m tired or stressed. My hearing is OK, even though places like bars and clubs or places with a lot of noisy people are hard to handle from time to time. Just read this post, and guess that you maybe could help me.” – Hanson
Hi Hanson, I´d like to know more about you. When did you notice your tinnitus for the first time? As a teenager? As a child? Did you have any ear problems as a child? Any history of tinnitus or hearing problems in your family?
What you describe could be something like what a colleague of mine also is having. She doesn´t give her tinnitus much attention, but like you is wondering where the heck it comes from? Please write again.
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