Tinnitus is a condition that causes constant ringing in your ears. If you’re unsure if you’ve experienced it before, it’s likely you have seen it in the media. For example, movie characters may get tinnitus when they are exposed to a nearby explosion. It’s also often used in first-person shooter games like Call of Duty or Battlefield.
In these circumstances, tinnitus is usually temporary and will go away after a few seconds. However, some people experience chronic tinnitus. The condition can be debilitating for them and is quite common for older adults. Unfortunately, chronic tinnitus can also contribute to several mental health problems.
How Tinnitus Impacts Mental Health
It’s estimated that millions of people suffer from tinnitus every day. Most of these cases are temporary or caused by an underlying medical problem. However, a significant number of these cases are chronic. People with chronic tinnitus have their everyday lives interrupted, and most of the time, they are unable to function effectively due to their condition.
It is also very common for people with chronic tinnitus to have mental health problems. Common mental health issues that are comorbid with tinnitus include depression, anger management issues, and anxiety. Sadly, some people have contemplated, attempted, or committed suicide because of the stress of living with their condition. While tinnitus doesn’t kill a person directly, its effects can. Luckily, there are several ways for people with this condition to cope successfully. Here are some of them.
Ask for Professional Help
If you’re unsure if your tinnitus is chronic or caused by an underlying health issue, you should first go to your doctor. There are a lot of health problems that can cause tinnitus, and perhaps the most common is an ear infection. An ear infection is quite common, especially among kids.
Adults tend to treat ear infections and other ear-related issues at home. However, you may want to visit a hospital if you realize that your ear issue is not going away. Seeing a doctor is recommended even if you are currently having struggles with money. Your doctor may be able to provide you with medication coupons such as a Bactrim Coupon and suggest coping techniques for tinnitus.
Doctors often recommend that people with chronic tinnitus go to sound therapy. While the overall effectiveness of sound therapy is still up for debate, many people who have tried it say it’s very effective. How does this form of treatment work? Sound therapy uses specific sounds to train the brain so that it is distracted from the constant ringing sensation in your ear. Its effectiveness is increased if you use soothing background noises to help you relax.
Lower Your Stress Level
People experiencing chronic tinnitus are often surprised by the sudden improvement in their condition once they try meditation and other relaxation techniques. When you are more relaxed, your mind can cope better with the condition, which in turn reduces your stress levels significantly.
Many medical experts believe tinnitus is caused by low blood pressure in your ears. This is why some therapists encourage people with chronic tinnitus to exercise regularly to improve their circulation. Physical exercise is also a great way to lower your stress and an excellent distraction from your condition.
Use White Noise
As there tends to be fewer sounds at night, many people with chronic tinnitus tend to hear the constant ringing more clearly after dark. This affects their ability to sleep, which in turn contributes to the development of other physical and mental health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, cognitive decline, and depression. Getting enough high quality sleep is essential for overall health. To cope during the nighttime, people with chronic tinnitus may use white noise.
White noise is an auditory distraction that can come in many forms. For example, it may come from your TV, music, falling rain, etc. These sounds are considered to be white noise as long as they fill the silence without disturbing your sleep or relaxation.
There are also devices you can buy to produce white noise. One good example of this are speaker-fitted pillows. These types of pillows are useful if you don’t want to wear earphones while you sleep. Another option is to simply put a speaker close to your pillow at night. You can use this speaker to bring relaxing music to your ears as you dose off.
Although tinnitus is a physical condition, it can contribute to a host of emotional and mental health problems. The constant ringing in the ears can range from mild to debilitating. And unfortunately, some people have had to live with this condition for years.
Even so, there are several ways that we can cope with tinnitus. Many individuals with the condition have benefited from sound therapy, regular exercise, and relaxation techniques. If you believe you have chronic tinnitus, it is recommended that you seek professional care. If you do, you will learn healthy coping strategies so that you can remain a happy and fully functioning person in your community.