How Providers Can Help Us Manage Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common condition for people with hearing loss that can be just as or even more bothersome at times. We need our providers’ help in sifting through the fads and scams that abound on the Internet so we can find the tools that really help. In my recent article for Ida Institute, I discuss the ways providers can help people with hearing loss manage their tinnitus. See an excerpt below.

Read the full article here

Mindfulness strategies often help in managing tinnitus.

Tinnitus: My Unwanted Companion

Arriving home from a busy day of errands and shopping, I enter my quiet apartment and sigh with relief. New York City noise, while a bit reduced from pre-pandemic levels, can still be overwhelming. But when my tinnitus is acting up—and it seems to spike each year as the weather turns colder—the sigh of relief upon entering my quiet home becomes a groan of frustration. The silence is marred by the ringing and buzzing in my ears. My tinnitus is back. 

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the experience of sound when none is present. It most commonly manifests as a buzzing or ringing but it can take many forms, including music. For some people, tinnitus is loud enough to drown out speech, while for others it is a quiet purr in the background. 

Living with tinnitus can be extremely debilitating. The constant noise can lead to social isolation, depression, and feelings of hopelessness. When mine spikes it immediately impacts my mood. I get frustrated because I cannot hear as well over the sound, and fearful that it may not recede into the background again. It saps my energy and my ability to focus. 

But there are ways to help alleviate the discomfort. 

Strategies to Help Manage Tinnitus

When patients ask providers about tinnitus, we often get few definitive answers, in part because there is currently no cure or medical treatment. Some audiologists may recommend tinnitus-masking hearing aids (many hearing aids now offer this feature), while others may simply say, “There is not much you can do.” 

Yet there are many things we can do to better manage our tinnitus. Providers can assist by sharing the techniques below.  

Masking the sound

Playing music or white noise in the background can sometimes mask the unwanted noise. This is why hearing aids can sometimes help with tinnitus. By bringing additional noise into our ears, we can offset the “phantom sound” of our tinnitus. This is one of the reasons I wear extended-wear hearing aids. The real sounds around me overshadow the roar of my tinnitus, making it easier to sleep.  

For more strategies, continue reading on Ida Institute.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter

Never miss a post! Sign up for email alerts. 

2 thoughts on “How Providers Can Help Us Manage Tinnitus

  1. Two strategies: Masking hearing aids and avoiding too many allergy meds. Sudafed gave me such awful tinnitus to the point I could not sleep. Haven’t used it since, and I try not to overload on anything else even when I need it. My tinnitus is usually a high-pitched whine. (This causes a lot of problems during hearing tests for high-pitched sounds.) When the tinnitus is really bad, a layer of “typing” is added. Yes! It mimics the varied clicks and clacks of typewriter keys!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thank you for sharing what works for you.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply