You finally saw your doctor about that persistent noise you hear and you were diagnosed with tinnitus. Surgery on the tiny bones and nerves in your middle ear is an option, but one that your doctor wants to save for last. There are a number of non-surgical options to try initially to help you cope with the noise in your ears. Here are a few of them to consider first.
Getting Your Baseline Hearing
A thorough hearing test with an audiologist, such as at Hearing and Balance Centers, will determine what types of sounds you hear clearly and which ones get drowned out by the humming or ringing you hear. With that information, they can recommend the right non-invasive approaches to help you hear clearly and ignore the annoying ringing.
Devices That Suppress Extraneous Noise
Some tinnitus is aggravated by certain noises. Your doctor or audiologist can try these devices to mask noises that cause your tinnitus to be worse.
White noise generators - These devices produce different sounds that mask the ringing so you don't notice it as much. Sounds such as falling rain and waves crashing on the beach become tranquil background noise on which you focus instead of the ringing. These may be recorded sounds from nature or digitally produced by a machine or computer. White noise is often effective at helping you sleep.
Noise-masking hearing aids - Related to the white noise generators, these are tiny hearing aids that you wear throughout the day. The hearing aid produces a low level of white noise to mask the ringing in your ear. Audio tests will determine the precise frequency and volume of white noise needed to cause your tinnitus to blend with it so you don't notice it as you try to concentrate on work.
Audio retraining devices - Instead of white noise, these devices produce a musical tone that is set to the same frequency as the ringing in your ears. Worn like a hearing aid, your hearing becomes accustomed to the tone and learns to ignore it along with the tinnitus.
Therapies to Help You Cope With Tinnitus
Tinnitus that is caused by other health issues, such as tumors in the middle ear or high blood pressure, can be eliminated. Other types of tinnitus cannot be cured and in these instances, learning to cope with the sound is helpful. A number of types of therapy help you ignore the ringing in your ear or cause you to have less of a reaction to it.
Relaxation therapy and biofeedback - Stress can worsen your tinnitus, but the tinnitus creates stress in you. This cycle makes the tinnitus a persistent part of your life. Biofeedback and relaxation therapy help you break that cycle by teaching you stress management techniques. These tools allow you to gain some relief from the ringing by minimizing the triggers that make it worse.
Hypnosis - This is used to redirect your focus away from the tinnitus. It doesn't affect the tinnitus itself, but gives you a way to ignore the ringing. Self-hypnosis techniques give you a way to control your attention throughout the day.
Working with your doctor, you'll combine non-invasive therapies to get the most relief from the tinnitus. You may find these techniques will help you avoid surgery, which may not cure, but only reduce the ringing.Share
21 September 2015
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