Proven Techniques To Help You Treat Tinnitus And Sleep Better
Youve heard me talk about the impact of noisefor better and worseon sleep. But recently I received several questions during my FaceBook Live Wake up Wednesdays about tinnitus and sleep. Looking back, I have never written about it, so I decided to dive in and learn more.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus involves the perception of phantom sounds that arent coming from an external source. Often described as ringing in the ears, people with tinnitus can actually experience a wide variety of sounds, including:
- White noise sounds, akin to static
- Snippets of music
Whatever the specific sounds, these noises are only perceptible to the individual. Tinnitus noise can vary widely in volume. About 1 in every 4 people with tinnitus describe their sounds as loud.
Many of us experience tinnitus every once in a while. If youre exposed to extremely loud noise, or leave a noisy environment for a quiet one, you may notice a temporary buzzing or ringing in your ear. Maybe youve been near loud constructionlike a jackhammer, or stepped out of a loud action movie or music concert to a quiet lobby or street.
Tinnitus becomes more common with age, in part because of age-related hearing loss. Among adults ages 65-84 years old, its estimated that about 27 percent have tinnitus.
What causes tinnitus?
There are several potential causes of tinnitus, including:
How tinnitus affects sleep
- Experiencing poor quality sleep
- Feeling less refreshed in the morning
What Are The Causes Of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is most often caused by prolonged exposure to a noisy environment. Noise-induced hearing loss affects up to 90% of people who suffer from tinnitus. The sound-sensitive cells in the spiral-shaped organ called the cochlea in the inner ear are permanently damaged by the noise. Carpenters, pilots, musicians, road workers, and landscapers are only a few of the people whose jobs are at risk.
Suppose you often attend concerts, work as a musician, or are often exposed to loud noises. In that case, you should take precautions to avoid long-term hearing loss.
Noise-related hearing loss is commonly caused by loud noises such as heavy machinery, chainsaws, and weapons.
Please contact a hearing specialist if you are having trouble sleeping and impacting your energy levels, emotional or physical health, or employment.
Get Examined By A Hearing Care Specialist
A professional hearing exam can help you determine whats causing your tinnitus and indicate possible solutions. Professionals can help you control your tinnitus in several ways such as:
- Suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with thought patterns revealed to make tinnitus worse
- Help you train your brain not to hear tinnitus by enrolling you in therapy
- Fitting you for hearing aids designed to cancel out the noise
To speed up healing and sleep better at night, seek professional help. Schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to see if you can get some help with your tinnitus.
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How Can I Stop Tinnitus At Night
The first rule is to rigorously avoid silence which would result in hyper-excitability of the acoustic pathways capable only of aggravating the situation by enhancing the perception of tinnitus.
The false sensation of increased perception of tinnitus in a silent environment has in fact resulted in the birth of “sound therapy” which consists in raising the ambient sound or enriching the sound world of the person complaining of tinnitus. The sound enrichment strategies for the normal-hearing patient use wearable or bedside devices that by delivering one or more types of sound interfere with the perception of the symptom.
For people with hearing impairments, the application of hearing aids results in an increase in hearing capacity with a reduction in the perception of tinnitus. The latest generation hearing aids have the ability to deliver particular sounds – for example sounds of nature, broadband sounds – with relaxing and distracting characteristics towards tinnitus.
What Makes Tinnitus Worse
lists the patients’ answers to the question When you have your tinnitus, which of the following makes it worse? The answers are listed in order of the descending frequency of occurrence of positive answers. Almost one half of the patients reported that being in a quiet place made their tinnitus worse. More than one third of the patients reported that their tinnitus was made worse by emotional or mental stress,having just recently been in a noisy situation,being in a noisy place, and lack of sleep. The other category included comments such as weather,accentuated body movements,altitude changes, and driving a car. Another notable response was having recently worn hearing protection, and worse after a nap. also compares the findings of the current study to those of . One can compare changes in the two studies in at least two ways: an absolute difference or a percent difference . In general, the results are similar. In might be noteworthy that in the present study about 48% of patients said being in a quiet place , and about 36% said that emotional or mental stress made their tinnitus worse . Only 5% of the patients in the current study answered that changing their head position makes their tinnitus worse, which was reported by 16% in the 1990 study. Temporomandibular joint disorder or other facial muscle or jaw problems have been linked to tinnitus .
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How True Is It That My Tinnitus Gets Worse At Night
September 24, 2021 By El Dorado Hearing
Tinnitus is a medical condition affecting millions of people in the U.S. each year and is commonly described as a perceived ringing in the ears that isnt present or heard outside the ear. Tinnitus can be more than a ringing noise it can also be other sounds such as clicking, hissing, buzzing, swishing, or a humming noise. It can vary with frequency, pitch and can be present in both ears or just one. It can come and go, and for some, the volume or frequency of these sounds can be distracting and interfere with a persons ability to focus, concentrate or hear actual sounds happening externally.
Final Thoughts On Sleep And Tinnitus
Lastly, seeing a sleep specialist can be useful to rule out other problems, such as sleep apnea, which is common in people with hearing loss.
But most importantly, if you are struggling with the sound of tinnitus, I want you to know that there is hope and you are not alone.
Improving the quality of your sleep is an important first step toward relief, but its only one step on a much longer journey.
The good news is that despite what your doctor may have told you, there is something you can do about your tinnitus. There are many treatments and coping strategies, and lasting relief is entirely possible through sound therapy and a mental process called habituation.
You can get to a place where the sound no longer bothers youwhere your brain just tunes it out like it does all other meaningless background sounds. And as this happens, sleep will steadily improve.
But for now, I hope youll give these strategies a try! A single good night sleep can really make life with tinnitus a whole lot less difficult and improve your mental health.
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The Tinnitus Anxiety And Sleep Link
Improving the communication ability within ones surroundings can help alleviate the stress and anxiety of listening carefully all day.
When you find it challenging to interact regularly, it can be tempting to retreat from collective situations and place a strain on your personal relationships. Creating unnecessary tension, anxiety, and social isolation.
Everything Impacts Health and Well-Being
Negative thoughts not only make us feel nervous, frustrated, or depressed, but they also cause our bodies stress stimulation, or anxiety, to rise.
Sleep deprivation and anxiety about having a tinnitus attack will affect your attitude and ability to concentrate, exacerbating the symptoms.
Anxiety causes a persons attention to narrow down even further on the thing that is viewed as a threat.
on #InternationalNoiseAwarenessDay& #InternationalWorkersMemorialDay we want to raise awareness of the impact noise has on health AND safety #tinnitus kills, #audibility kills #hearingloss leads to isolation as well as life changing health conditions #noisehurts
What Does It Mean When Your Ear Wont Stop Ringing
Most often, it is caused by damage to or the loss of sensory hair cells in the cochlea, or the inner ear. Tinnitus can present in many different ways, including sounds related to the ocean, ringing, buzzing, clicking, hissing or whooshing. The sound can be in one or both ears, constant or occasional, loud or soft.
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Dont Resist The Noise
Though this might sound difficult, if you pay attention to it, it becomes worse. This is partly because for many people higher blood pressure can make tinnitus symptoms worse. You will feel worse the more you think about it and your frustration will increase. Focusing on something else and utilizing the strategies below can help make the noise seem quieter.
Realize That Resistance Is Futile
Carl Jung, a leading psychiatrist from the early 20th century, is famously quoted as saying What you resist persists. Today, most of the modern psychiatric community agree that Dr. Jung was on to something. This not only applies to emotions but also physical sensations like tinnitus and the ringing in your ears.
The more you focus on the tinnitus and the misery it causes you in an effort to overcome it, the worse it seems to get. But accepting that you have tinnitus, and acknowledging your feelings about it, will allow you to objectively begin developing a plan to stop nighttime tinnitus from ruining your sleep. The first step in healing is acceptance, so the sooner you can accept that you have tinnitus, the sooner you can start getting a good nights sleep.
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Why Ringing In Your Ears Is Keeping You Up At Night
Almost everyone has experienced ringing, whooshing, or hissing sounds in one or both ears, but some have a condition called tinnitus in which these sounds go on for an extended period.
The problem can be particularly annoying at night and cause trouble for sufferers who are trying to fall asleep. See your doctor if you are experiencing persistent ringing or other ear noises that keep you up at night, as it could be a symptom of another problem that may be treatable.
What Happens If Tinnitus Goes Untreated
How does tinnitus affect your life? Some people are able to ignore their tinnitus most of the time, but leaving it untreated can have a devastating impact on your life. It can lead to stress, anger, concentration problems, isolation, and depression.
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Foods Can Make Tinnitus Worse For Some People
Tinnitus is a warning sign. Often its telling you that something isnt right. That something could be noise, stress, medications, or something else.
Oftentimes, it might just be the foods youre eating or not eating. To find out if your diet is the cause of the ringing in your ears, try keeping a food journal. Note days when its worse and youll likely find that you have some triggers. For instance, many people find that artificial sweeteners and caffeine make it worse.
Some people may find that the ringing in their ears is worse because theyre not getting enough iron in their diet, which may lead to iron deficiency anemia. This condition makes the blood pump harder throughout the body to make sure all the organs get the oxygen they need and can often result in a rushing sound in the ears.
Because tinnitus can be affected by blood pressure, salty foods can also affect your tinnitus.
Avoid Common Causes Of Tinnitus
Ringing or other noises in your ears can be caused by many things. Addressing the cause can help prevent tinnitus or make it better. Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Protect your ears
- Evaluate your lifestyle to identify whether youre exposed to loud noises
- Dont use earbudsuse headphones instead and keep the sound level low
- Review your medications with your doctor to see if one may be causing tinnitus symptoms
- Get treated for anxiety or depression
- Go for your annual checkup
- Get help for underlying conditions such as high blood pressure
If you can identify whats causing the ringing in your ears, you may be able to manage it better.
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What Is The Meaning Of Hearing Frequencies
Have you noticed youve started to hear vibrations? Or maybe youve noticed a buzz in one of your ears, or heard a high pitched frequency?
If you have and youre like most people, you have likely wondered about the cause.
This sort of sensation can be a bit disconcerting Not to mention annoying.
So the question remains Why is this happening to you?
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It Could Be A Side Effect Of Your Medication
A number of ototoxic medications can damage your ear structures by disrupting the delicate chemical balance of your inner ear or killing hair cells responsible for hearing, says Palmer. As a result, you might experience tinnitus as a side effect, along with hearing loss , dizziness, and balance issues.
Some common culprits include cisplatin , aminoglycoside antibiotics , and loop diuretics , says Palmer. If youre worried that your medication could be causing tinnitus, call your doctor or pharmacist to figure out next steps .
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Why Would Tinnitus Be Worse At Night
Even if you don’t realize it, the brain is picking up on sounds on a near constant basis, but as you become accustomed, these sounds are dampened and don’t catch our mental attention. The brain uses these sounds to orient itself in the world and prepare for any potential predators. When the world goes silent, the brain will begin filling the silence with its own sensations.
This could not be more apparent than it is at Microsoft’s anechoic chamber, described as a place where “sound goes to die”. The chamber has a sound level measured at -20.6 decibels…passive human breathing is around 10 decibels, so this chamber is quiet in the most absolute sense of the word. Sensory deprivation has been shown to induce hallucinations and psychotic-like experiences as the brain tries to insert information, like auditory input, into a place where there isn’t any.
Establish A Nighttime Routine
Developing good sleep habits such as winding down at least a half hour before bed, dimming the lights and going to bed at the same time every night helps condition your body to be sleepy at the right time. This will make it easier to fall asleep when youre ready.
Tinnitus has also been linked to stress. Developing habits to lower your stress level before bed can also help, such as:
- Reading a book in a quiet room
- Listening to soft music or relaxing sounds
- Doing a quick meditation or deep breathing
- Focusing on thoughts that make you happy and relaxed
- Stretching or doing yoga
- Making your bedroom slightly cooler
- Avoiding eating a few hours before you go to bed
Getting into a predictable routine before bed helps you shift from the stresses of the day into night and trains your body to transition into sleep.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Ear noises start after a head injury.
- The noises occur with other unexplained symptoms, like dizziness, feeling off balance, nausea, or vomiting.
- You have unexplained ear noises that bother you even after you try self-help measures.
- The noise is only in one ear and it continues for several weeks or longer.
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Is It Really True That My Tinnitus Gets Worse At Night
If you are one of the 25 million people in the U.S. with a medical condition called tinnitus, usually ringing in the ears, then you probably know that it tends to get worse when you are trying to fall asleep, but why? The ringing in one or both ears is not a real noise but a complication of a medical issue like hearing loss, either permanent or temporary. Of course, knowing what it is will not explain why you have this ringing, buzzing or swishing noise more often at night.
The truth is more common sense than you might think. To know why your tinnitus increases as you try to sleep, you need to understand the hows and whys of this very common medical problem.
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Exposure To Loud Noises
Last but not least, loud noises can damage the inner ear and set up the ringing we associate with tinnitus. Be especially careful when listening to music via headphones or earplugs, and always protect your hearing with ear defenders when in a noisy environment, be that a rock concert or the work place.