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Tinnitus is where you can hear distracting and repetitive ringing, humming, or clicking in your ears. For many, this is a high pitched ringing. Tinnitus can sound as loud as a chainsaw to others, and come and go for no apparent reason. Others still report a loud, rhythmic sound.
Tinnitus can make a person feel very lonely and isolated, especially when surrounded by people who do not understand how unsettling it can be. When you get your tinnitus, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. About 50 million of us suffer from the condition, and it is the most commonly reported injury to soldiers returning from combat.
How can tinnitus trigger anxiety?
The reality is that researchers are not entirely sure how anxiety triggers tinnitus, but they know that many people with anxiety can get tinnitus.
Anxiety activates the fight or flight system, which puts a lot of pressure on nerves, and increases blood flow, body heat, and more. This pressure and stress are very likely to travel up into your inner ear and lead to the tinnitus experience.
But most of these episodes are short-lived. It pops up at the height of an anxiety attack and then goes away quickly. That doesn’t explain why so many people suffer long-term tinnitus. Experts firmly agree that fear is not likely to cause tinnitus. Instead, anxiety can trigger a mentality that makes us more likely to develop tinnitus.
How can tinnitus provoke sleep problems?
Seth Martin is well aware of losing sleep due to tinnitus. Speaking to the Joplin Globe, he explains how he used to fire mortars for the military. Here he is describing how loud those sounds were:
“The best way I can explain it is when you see some of those videos of someone shooting a 1-pound tannerite cylinder, but it’s going off right into your ear. It’s barking out a huge 6-foot flame.”
Martin said while shooting mortars on the practice range, he was given hearing protection, but the protection was often inadequate.
The earplugs he and other soldiers were given became the target of a complaint against the manufacturer, 3 M. In 2018, 3M consented to a $9.1 million settlement to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company was aware that they sold defective earplugs to the US military.
Martin has said that his tinnitus impacts his whole life. He has to sleep with a fan running because the background noise seems to diminish the ringing.
“And if it’s too cold for my fan, I’m just going to put something I’ve watched before on Netflix and put it on really quiet so I can hardly hear it,” said Martin.
What to do to relieve tinnitus?
There are a lot of things that you can do to relieve tinnitus. Here are just a few:
- Sound therapy: The most common way of overcoming tinnitus is by masking the disruptive sound. Tinnitus sufferers used different sounds to mask the tinnitus sound. White noise machines also offer relief. Smartphone users can find apps that even allow you to create customized sound palettes to counteract your specific tinnitus noises.
- Meditation: The idea behind meditation is a brain retraining. The therapy works by preparing the mind to consider tinnitus and come to terms with that. The method is the opposite of conventional methods that seek to prevent the tinnitus problem altogether.
- Get your hearing checked. Tinnitus is often the first symptom of hearing loss. For some people, tinnitus could be the “creating” sounds missing from your auditory system due to a hearing loss. If you have a hearing impairment that can be treated with hearing aids, several options have built-in tinnitus relief. These are ideal for people who are suffering from any of these problems, and for many patients, they have had great results. If you haven’t checked your hearing yet, a hearing aid might be the most effective method for alleviating your tinnitus symptoms.
If you are looking for a solution to tinnitus, we can help. We have personalized care and professional professionals that can help you find relief. From the latest in tinnitus treatments for hearing aids to the best lifestyle approaches that you can try at home, we stop at nothing to help you live your life again.