Have you heard?
Provided by Hearing Lifestyles, LLC
Fifty million Americans experience tinnitus or ringing in the ear. Of these, about 16 million have severe enough tinnitus to seek medical attention and about two million patients are so seriously debilitated that they cannot function on a day-to-day basis.
Last month we reviewed possible causes for tinnitus. The American Tinnitus Association is constantly supporting tinnitus research to find a cure. They have suggested the following tips to manage your tinnitus.
Do not panic. Tinnitus is usually not a sign of a serious medical condition. Developing tinnitus means you have undergone a significant physical, emotional or maybe even life-style change that should be reviewed with your primary care physician.
See an audiologist or ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) experienced in tinnitus treatment.
Review your current medications (prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins and other supplements) with your medical professional to find possible causes of your tinnitus. (Do not stop taking medications without consulting with your health care professional.)
Be wary of a hopeless diagnosis or physician advice like, “There’s nothing you can do about your tinnitus. Go home and live with it.”
Be a detective. Keep track of what triggers your tinnitus.
Examine your lifestyle to find ways to eliminate or reduce stress; stress can make tinnitus worse.
Pay attention to what you eat. One-by-one, eliminate possible sources of tinnitus aggravation, e.g., salt, artificial sweeteners, sugar, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
Protect yourself from further auditory damage by avoiding loud places and by using earplugs when you can not avoid loud noise.
If you are experiencing hearing difficulty in addition to your tinnitus, investigate what hearing aid can do to help reduce the negative affects of tinnitus as well as improve your understanding ability.
Do not blame yourself. Remember, as we learned last month, the causes of tinnitus are varied and difficult to determine.
Educate your family, friends and co-workers about tinnitus. Let them know although they cannot “see” or "hear" it to understand you have it..
Find a support group that will truly understand your struggles with tinnitus and help you sort out useful from useless information. You will find compassion, companionship and coping strategies. There are support groups in Charlotte, Pineville and Greensboro.
For more information or to schedule a tinnitus evaluation, please contact our office at Hearing Lifestyles, 704-633-0023