Coping With Tinnitus Spikes: Focus On What You Can Control
So what exactly should you do to cope when your tinnitus is spiking?
To understand what you have the power to control during spikes, you first need to understand what you cant change or control. Most tinnitus sufferers cannot change the volume of their tinnitus in any meaningful way when its spiking, nor can they ignore the sound by force of will alone.
Trying to actively ignore a sensory perception is an act of giving it attention. Heres a quick example: Whatever you do, do not think about, or pay attention to the feeling of the collar of your shirt against your neck.
You couldnt help it, could you?
You also cant control how long a spike is going to last, or the emotions and thoughts that arise as its happening. The thoughts and emotions will flood in, and you cant always just think your way out of it.
Youre Watching The Late Late Late Show Sleep Deprivation And Tinnitus
Insomnia can have many negative impacts on the body. Whether youre skimping on sleep to get more done or youre unable to get the recommended 7-8 hours, its time to take action.
Start by keeping a behavior journal to track your daily routine and find out which activities may be impacting your sleep duration or quality. Some common culprits include:
- Caffeine or sugar in the late afternoon
- Drinking alcohol in the evening
- Not getting enough exercise
- Not managing stress
- Using devices that emit blue light, including TVs, phones, and tablets right before bed
Once youve determined the cause or causes, you can take the right steps to get yourself back on track and sleeping like a baby.
You may also find that your tinnitus symptoms are worse during the night time when youre trying to sleep, and that tinnitus itself is keeping you up. This is because tinnitus has no noise competition in a quiet bedroom, which makes it deafeningly loud. Try using a white noise machine to add some background noise while you sleep
What Makes You Specialists In Tinnitus And Hyperacusis
The tinnitus specialists at Medical Audiology have had years of experience and specialist training in diagnosing and treating tinnitus and other sound tolerance problems. We have been privileged to work with Professor David Baguley, President of the British Tinnitus Association. We have attend multiple international and national conferences and seminars to keep up with the latest in tinnitus research.Our ongoing collaborations with ENTs, GPs, Psychologists and other medical and allied health professionals gives us a broad network of experts to learn from, refer to and work with on complex cases.Dr Vesna Maric is the lecturer in tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders at the University of Western Australia Master of Clinical Audiology program. She has made multiple national and international conference presentations on tinnitus treatments.
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How Is Tinnitus Diagnosed
Tests used to diagnose the cause of tinnitus include:
- Physical exam to check the ear canal for earwax that may be blocking the ear canal
- Blood pressure may be taken
- Hearing tests, including audiogram or auditory brainstem response
- Brain imaging
- Computed tomography scan
Youre Taking Drugs : These Medications Make Tinnitus Worse
Many medications can cause and worsen tinnitus. These include drugs most people think are harmless like over-the-counter pain medications, as well as prescription opiates like Oxycontin or morphine.
In addition to these, research has shown that some diuretics, antidepressants, antibiotics and cancer drugs can make tinnitus worse and cause permanent hearing loss. These drugs are known as ototoxic medications, which means that they can cause hearing loss. The good news is that tinnitus symptoms usually only last for as long as youre taking the medication the bad news is that some people need to take these drugs on a regular basis for other health reasons.
If you have to take these drugs, talk to your doctor about alternatives that may have less of an effect on your tinnitus. When possible, make lifestyle changes to reduce your need to take these drugs long-term.
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Can Tinnitus Come And Go Throughout The Day
It can range from low to high pitch and may be soft or roaring often before sleep. Sometimes, it can remain stable or otherwise tinnitus come and go from time to time. In severe cases, the ringing in the ears is loud enough to interfere with work or daily activity, whereas those with mild tinnitus can experience soft ringing that is no more than a minor annoyance.
Again, exceptional exposure to loud noise can create temporary tinnitus. In that case, it can go away within 16 to 48 hours. While in severe cases, it may last for a week or two or even more than six months.
In the second place, a vibrational effect while walking or the harsh motion of speedy walking can cause movement in the small bones or the muscles in the middle ear. This movement is heard as a persistent clicking sound in the ear, also known as tinnitus. You can test it too by moving up and down your head.
However, this movement does not indicate any medical emergency. But if you hear this clicking for more days then discuss it with your hearing care professional in every way.
Unfortunately, untreated tinnitus can lead to a serious medical condition i.e permanent hearing loss. It affects millions and can cause anxiety and depression in a few cases. It is always better to start the diagnosis and treatment process immediately after the symptoms appear in a person.
What Are The Major Causes
The following is a list of the most common causes of this condition:
- Exposure to loud noises or music
- Congestion of wax in the ear canal, or inflammation of the middle or inner ear
- Drugs such as aspirin and pain killers, antidepressants, steroids, sleeping pills and certain types of antibiotics
- Age-related hearing loss
|For Tinnitus Relief
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Reliable Signs That Your Tinnitus Is Going Away
Have you recently started experiencing Tinnitus or a ringing in the ears? Are you incredibly anxious to find out when this unexpected chaos inside of your head will end? Is this ringing going to become a permanent nightmare you have to live with? Or, will it stop soon and let you go back to a normal life? First of all, please know that Tinnitus is a fairly common condition. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that 50 Million Americans suffer from Tinnitus. Out of those 50 Million, about 20 Million experience chronic Tinnitus while only 2 Million experience Tinnitus that is both chronic and very debilitating in nature, affecting their everyday life. Going by those statistics, theres a 6 out of 10 chance that your Tinnitus will go away soon, or about a 4 out of 10 chance that it can become chronic. Theres only a 4% chance that it can become very debilitating in nature.
Now that we have some promising statistics out of the way, below are 3 reliable signs that Tinnitus is going away soon. If you are experiencing any of these signs, good news is on the way. Your Tinnitus might end soon. But, even if Tinnitus does goes away, please know that it is likely to come back.
How Long Before Your Tinnitus Subsides
Your tinnitus, in the majority of circumstances, will subside by itself. Your hearing should return to normal within 16 to 48 hours. However, you will want to find a solution if your tinnitus lingers. The sooner you discover a treatment that works, the sooner you can get relief. If you think you have hearing loss you should have your hearing checked.
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Controlling Your Internal Stress
While external stress can have an influence on the perceived loudness of your tinnitus, how you deal with that stress is equally influential. If our bodies are not well equipped to handle external stress this can increase the level of tinnitus you experience.
Our ability to handle stress is influenced by the three pillars of good health. These include nutrition, exercise and sleep.
How To Overcome Tinnitus Stress And Anxiety
There are a number of things you can do to alleviate your Tinnitus and with it also your stress and anxiety levels. Lets go over them one by one.
1 Test your hearing
Have you tested yourself for hearing loss? While Tinnitus might be the more obvious problem, it could just be a side effect or symptom of hearing loss, even if such hearing loss is partial. When you suffer from even partial hearing loss, your brain is confused by the lack of auditory signals from your ear or ears. It then compensates for this lack of auditory signals. The compensation is the form of an invention of a ringing, whooshing, clicking or high pitched sound that only you can hear.
Hearing loss can be corrected or alleviated by the use of hearing aids. When hearing aids amplify sounds your ears cant hear on their own, they can potentially cause your brain to correct itself, by shutting off the Tinnitus sound. Even a marginal reduction from your baseline Tinnitus levels can give you significant relief from stress and anxiety. This will in turn help your Tinnitus subside even more or at least let you better habituate to it. This is essentially the opposite of the vicious cycle, where both your hearing health and mental health go from strength to strength.
Therefore, it is imperative that you first test yourself for hearing loss, to fight Tinnitus and stress and anxiety that comes along with it.
2 Stop the Fight or Flight Response
3 Recognize and Manage Anxiety before It Sets In
5 Clean Up Your Diet
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How To Talk With Your Doctor About Tinnitus
Learning about tinnitus can help you manage it. Ask your doctor these questions so you better understand your condition.
- Can you tell what’s causing my tinnitus?
- Will it go away on its own?
- Can other people hear the noise in my ears?
- Will tinnitus damage my hearing?
- Does having tinnitus mean I have hearing loss?
You may want to ask your doctor these questions to learn about your treatment options:
- What are the treatments for tinnitus?
- Are there any risks or side effects from the treatment?
- What can I do on my own to manage tinnitus?
- How can I stop tinnitus from getting worse?
What To Do Next For Tinnitus
At Treble Health, we know the importance of having a comprehensive approach to tinnitus management. That includes neuroplasticity, sound therapy, and proper medical tests. We put together a consumer guide to help you master tinnitus management so you can improve tinnitus once and for all. Click here to get the free Tinnitus Guide: 2022 Edition. Want to speak with an expert audiologist about your options for tinnitus treatment instead? At the tap of a finger, you can schedule a free Treble Health Tinnitus Consultation today! Youll be connected with a real audiologist, not a salesperson, and there is no obligation or commitment.
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Overcoming Tinnitus Spikes Makes You Resilient
In my work as a tinnitus coach, Ive come to realize something quite counterintuitive after working with nearly 600 tinnitus sufferers one-on-one: Tinnitus spikes are not just unavoidable, but a necessary and important part of the habituation process.
In fact, if there was a habituation strategy where spikes never occurred and every day was magically better than the day before , I would choose not to teach it.
Every difficult tinnitus spike you successfully endure and overcome increases your self-confidence in your ability to cope, which in turn makes you more resilient to future spikes.
When a tinnitus spike occurs, most sufferers panic and start to fear that they have regressed right back to where they started. The negative emotional and psychological patterns surrounding their tinnitus reactivate too, so even if theyve been coping much better overall their suffering in the moment may actually feel as bad as it did in the early days.
Terrible negative thoughts tend to arise in these moments as well. During difficult spikes, many patients think, What if it stays like this? How am I going to live like this? Your blood pressure likely increases, as well as your heart rate.
If you’re finding this tough to do on your own, you may want to seek out cognitive-behavioral therapy for tinnitus. Research shows it can be very effective at reducing the emotional impact of tinnitus and providing you with better coping tools.
Dont Let The Ringing In Your Ears Get Worse Start Improving Your Tinnitus Today
If you take steps to address the underlying causes of tinnitus symptoms, youll most likely get relief and slow the progression of hearing loss.
But even if you start making these changes, be sure to get your hearing tested and talk to a hearing specialist about solutions for treating or managing tinnitus. You may be surprised at the advanced options available.
Page medically reviewed by Kevin St. Clergy, Audiologist, on April 16, 2020.
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Studies About Tinnitus And Stress
In a study performed by Gomaa and colleagues at Minia University in Egypt, only 25 out of 100 tinnitus patients reported normal stress levels. The majority of the tinnitus patients had at least mild-to-moderate or severe-to-extreme stress levels. This finding is contrasted with a group of patients with hearing loss but no tinnitus, in which none of the 46 patients suffered from stress.
Another study found a direct correlation between the severity of stress and duration as well as severity of tinnitus, meaning that those who experienced the highest levels of stress in most cases also had the most severe tinnitus experience or had been suffering from tinnitus for the longest period of time. The study was conducted with use of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale , and included 196 subjects aged from 20 to 60 years. 100 patients suffered from subjective tinnitus associated with hearing loss, 46 patients had hearing loss, and 50 healthy persons not suffering from tinnitus or hearing loss.
The Findings Of This Research Are Confirmed By Experiential Evidence
But what was known was that those who worked to resolve their anxiety disorder also saw their tinnitus disappear. As their bodys stress diminished, so did their tinnitus. We saw this correlation time and time again so we knew tinnitus and stress were somehow tied together. Recent research on the adverse effects of stress, and now tinnitus, confirms this connection.
So if you are experiencing tinnitus, reducing your bodys stress and giving your body ample time to recover from chronically elevated stress should reduce and even eliminate your tinnitus.
For more detailed information about how hyperstimulation affects the body and brain, and why it can take a long time to recover from the adverse effects of hyperstimulation, Recovery Support members can visit our Hyperstimulation and Its Effects section in Chapter 14 in the Recovery Support area of our website.
You can also find more information about anxiety and its symptoms, anxiety and panic attack symptoms, the stress response, stress-response hyperstimulation, and anxiety counselling by selecting the appropriate link.
We explain how to recover from stress-response hyperstimulation in detail in the Recovery Support area of our website.
You can also find our Two Levels of Anxiety Disorder Recovery here.
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How To Clear Up Tinnitus Symptoms By Clearing Your Mind
Now that you know how excessive stress and its byproducts can cause tinnitus in some people, it should be easy to recognize that reducing stress levels can significantly reduce tinnitus symptoms. Depending on the severity of your tinnitus, you may find that your symptoms disappear or are at least greatly reduced by lowering stress-induced blood pressure and adrenaline production.
However, a question remains: why are some people able to manage stress more effectively, while others struggle to bring their thoughts and feelings under control? You may think that some people simply have less stress in their lives, but unfortunately, those people are not that lucky. In most cases, either through upbringing or learning later in life, theyve learned the secret to clearing their minds and managing stress. Its a valuable tool to learn, and the good news is that anybody can learn how to manage stress.
One of the most effective ways to manage stress is through meditation. Meditation is a mindfulness exercise that can help clear a cluttered mind, and as noted above, has been shown to significantly help people who suffer from tinnitus.
How Do Maskers And Sound Generators Differ
When used in the treatment of tinnitus, maskers are like band-aids. They generate white noise to cover up, or mask, the problem. Although maskers may provide short-term relief, we do not use them with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy because they only cover up the sound of tinnitus.
Sound generators used in TRT, on the other hand, produce a customized, low-level sound. You can listen to this soothing sound daily. Unlike maskers, they have been proven effective in cortical reorganization to reduce tinnitus. To ensure that your sound generator provides effective relief, you will need to consult an audiologist. Only a specialist with training on the neurophysiological model of tinnitus and TRT can properly recommend and program the correct sound generator to treat your unique symptoms.
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Get Help For Tinnitus
As horrible as tinnitus spikes can be to endure, you can learn a lot from the experience of overcoming this kind of adversity. Your worst spikes will always pass eventually, and if you can remain calm and cope effectively, you will come out the other side a little stronger and more resilient than you were before.
It will never be easy, but effective coping is always possible, and so is habituation. No matter how bad things may seem in the moment, there is always hope.
Are you experiencing ringing in your ears? If so it’s important to get a thorough hearing evaluation from a hearing care professional as tinnitus and hearing loss often occur in tandem. Find an audiologist that specializes in tinnitus treatment near you by visiting our directory of hearing care providers. Please note that not all hearing clinics treat tinnitus, so you may need to browse several clinic pages to find the right provider.