Persistent ringing or buzzing sounds you hear in your ears that are not in your external environment are referred to as tinnitus. For some people this can be mild and in others it is so loud it causes distress. Tinnitus can be a temporary or permanent condition.
There are many causes of tinnitus such as ear infection, wax build up, age and most commonly; exposure to loud and persistent noise. It is important to get a hearing health check to make sure you don’t have an underlying condition causing tinnitus.
Assessment of your tinnitus and a treatment plan by a professional audiologist can help sufferers better deal with tinnitus and stop the condition from affecting your quality of life. Tinnitus counselling will change your perception of the sounds you are hearing, helping you to reduce stress and refocus away from the noise. In fact, stress can make tinnitus feel worse, so it is best to be mindful that you are not anxious about the condition. In turn this will help reduce the severity of the effects on your health and wellbeing.
Adapting to tinnitus is the core of tinnitus counselling. Once you accept you have the condition it will have less of an effect on you emotionally. You will learn to coping strategies, and it won’t stop you from getting a good night’s sleep or participating in a full and active life.
Your tinnitus counsellor will help you develop techniques and tools that will keep you calm and manage your tinnitus.
Another element of the tinnitus rehabilitation is to use tinnitus masking sounds which trains the brain to habitually focus away from tinnitus. There are devices that can be worn behind the ear creating broadband noise to help sufferers refocus their brain away from the tinnitus.
Lifestyle and tinnitus
You can help mitigate the effects of tinnitus by developing healthy routines:
- Having a regular sleep routine
- Live in a calm environment
- Surround yourself with pleasant sounds such a music or nature
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising outdoors
- Keep yourself mentally active
- Avoid smoking and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum
- Wear earmuffs or other noise masking devices when in a loud environment
- Meditate or relax regularly
If you are suffering from tinnitus or know someone who is, you can get more information at the Tinnitus Association Victoria website here.