Tinnitus is a hearing condition that affects roughly 15-20% of the population. Tinnitus is characterized by a noise that can only be heard by you. It often comes in the form of a high-pitched ringing, but it can also be a buzzing, humming, or another sound.
Tinnitus can be very distracting and can even interfere with your ability to communicate with others. You may find it difficult to hear or understand people. Additionally, it can cause stress and anxiety because it can come on or intensify at any time.
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We are dedicated to helping people fight their tinnitus symptoms in natural ways. In this blog, we will discuss tinnitus and what you can do to help manage your symptoms.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is especially common as people age. You will hear a buzzing, ringing, humming, or another sound when you’re experiencing tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be very distracting and can interfere with your daily life and even your relationships. If your tinnitus is minor, you might not notice it very much unless you have a flair up.
However, if you are experiencing severe tinnitus, it can become very disruptive. You may not be able to function as you normally do. Tinnitus can make it difficult to understand others because you are so distracted by the sound. Additionally, you simply may not be able to hear other people because your tinnitus is so loud.
Some people living with tinnitus report that it’s very difficult to focus on their work and other daily activities. When the roar of your tinnitus is constantly in the picture, it can be a challenge to focus on even the simplest activities.
Furthermore, tinnitus has been shown to cause stress and anxiety in those living with it. Some people have intermittent tinnitus, which means it comes and goes. If it is severe enough, intermittent tinnitus can cause anxiety while waiting for it to return. Furthermore, people may feel anxious because they are falling behind on work due to their tinnitus. They may be worried about maintaining relationships because their tinnitus is causing issues with communication and focus.
What Causes Tinnitus?
As previously mentioned, tinnitus is often caused by aging. Our hearing health naturally begins to deteriorate as we grow older, and tinnitus is often a result of this process.
However, there are other reasons why tinnitus may manifest. Some of the other common causes of tinnitus are:
- Exposure to Loud Noise: Exposure to loud noises is one of the most common reasons for tinnitus. Even brief exposure to loud noises can result in tinnitus.
- TMJ Disorders: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. It is a sliding hinge that allows you to open your mouth. Issues with this joint are common. Sometimes, your TMJ can be disconnected when you open your mouth. Additionally, sometimes people experience clicking when they open their mouths too wide. Issues with this joint can cause tinnitus in some people.
- Head and Neck Injuries: Additionally, some head and neck injuries can result in tinnitus.
- Earwax Buildup: A buildup of earwax can also cause tinnitus. When earwax becomes impacted, it’s common for tinnitus to accompany it. However, luckily, earwax can typically be removed by your doctor.
- Structural Damage: While structural damage is, thankfully, rare, it can also cause tinnitus. If you have a punctured eardrum or other damage, you may experience tinnitus.
How Can I Manage My Tinnitus?
While tinnitus can indeed be frustrating and even disruptive to your daily life, there are ways that you can work to manage your symptoms.
It’s always important to meet with an audiologist to learn about the source of your tinnitus and discuss treatment options. They will also evaluate your overall hearing health and help to restore your hearing as best as possible.
Before making any changes to your lifestyle, consult with your doctor. Below are our top tips for managing life with tinnitus:
- Reduce your stress: Tinnitus can cause stress and anxiety. However, stress and anxiety can also make tinnitus even worse. This often creates a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break out of. However, it has been shown that reducing stress can lead to a reduction in tinnitus symptoms, so keeping yourself as relaxed as possible can be key.
Reducing stress is undoubtedly easier said than done. However, there are certain things you can do to keep your stress levels as low as possible. For example, practicing deep breathing can help lower your anxiety. Additionally, you can try meditation or other relaxing activities, such as yoga, to reduce your stress.
- Get exercise: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in general, may help with tinnitus. Making sure that you get an adequate amount of exercise can help you feel better overall, resulting in a reduction of tinnitus symptoms in some people.
- Practice your hobbies: Additionally, distractions can help with tinnitus symptoms. Many people have reported that their tinnitus is worse at times when they have nothing else to focus on–such as when they’re trying to fall asleep. Thus, keeping yourself active, especially with activities that are not stressful and that you enjoy, can help keep your mind off your tinnitus symptoms and manage them properly.
- Get enough sleep: Finally, maintaining healthy habits also involves getting enough sleep. When you are fatigued, everything can seem worse, and symptoms of various conditions can intensify. Tinnitus is no exception to this rule, so making sure that you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night can make a big difference.
Tinnitus is a hearing condition that affects a large number of the population. It is characterized by a humming, buzzing, or ringing noise that you can only hear. Many people find this condition to be extremely frustrating, and it can be disruptive to your daily life.
However, there are some things you can do to help manage your tinnitus symptoms. Keeping your stress levels low, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting enough sleep are excellent ways to help naturally manage your tinnitus’s sound.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, the most important thing to do is visit an audiologist. They will evaluate your hearing health and determine what the next steps are.
Contact us for any questions!