Getting tinnitus is hard – and there are so many questions, doubts and fears coming up in the first few days. Very often I get asked the same things. So here I want to make a go to page to answer the most frequent ones and to give you an overview.
On this point I want to make clear that I am someone, who has tinnitus and has learned to live with it. I am not a doctor nor can I give qualified advice on medication or treatment plans.
I want to help others to end the suffering to start living their life again. I speak from own personal experience and from things I have heard from other people with tinnitus.
You are not alone!
If your question isn’t answered by these questions here or if you need someone to talk to – please don´t hesitate to contact me.
1. How can you sleep with tinnitus?
I guess this is the most asked question. Sleep is difficult with ear ringing as we are concentration on the sound and it gets more and more annoying. We tell ourselves that we won´t be able to sleep because of the sound. Just like self-full filling prophecies work, this will become true for us.
So what we need to do, is to shift our focus away from our tinnitus.
I for example started with masking the sound by putting on a TV-Show or by listening to music. There are also many other sounds you can use, just on youtube, on Apps or even especial white or blue noise machines.
I also make sure to be tired physically, to make a thought dump in a diary so I can get rid of reoccurring thoughts and to eat lightly at night. Basically I try to make my sleep environment as convenient as possible.
Right now, I don´t need anything on when I go to sleep as I just shift my focus to my thoughts. I think about something beautiful, I visualize my future or I think about an amazing memory….and then I fall asleep.
Read more about it here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2017/11/09/how-i-got-my-good-night-sleep-back-despite-my-tinnitus/
2. What can I eat when I have tinnitus?
I have made many posts about food and I often get asked about food. I think this is a very individual thing and also depends on the general health of your body. Consulting with a doctor is always something important in that matter.
Generally I would say that tinnitus is connected to the blood flow in our inner ear and that reacts to the blood pressure. Reducing or cutting out foods that raise blood pressure can help to prevent flare ups. These foods include coffee, salt, sugar…
As my tinnitus is connected to sinus infections I am currently trying to reduce the level of inflammation in my body. I am also a big fan of the Medical Medium, he says tinnitus is a result of Epstein Barr Virus. Again reducing or better said getting rid of inflammation is the key here.
For that I am cutting our (or at least reducing) there foods:
- Canola Oil
- Processed Beet Sugar
- Farmed Fish
- Natural Flavors aka hidden MSG
- Artificial Flavors
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Citric Acid
I personally eat vegan and gluten-free. I am trying to work on the other point right now.
Read more about food and tinnitus here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2017/10/22/which-foods-are-tinnitus-triggers/
3. How do you protect your ears?
Protecting our ears is super important!
Ears are generally sensitive, but now as we are having tinnitus they are even more sensitive.
I protect my ears even from wind and drafts – I have a headband or hat with my all the time to put it on when needed. Mostly I have something on always.
I try to stay clear from loud noises.
As I still want to enjoy my life that is of course not always possible. So I have ear plugs with me constantly. When loud sounds just happen, I can always put them in.
When I go out, I put them in. I always use ear plugs that filter, so that I can still enjoy a conversation and the music still has a good quality. That way my tinnitus doesn´t flare up and don´t hurt.
As all ears have a different size and shape, I think you have to try which ones you feel most comfortable with. My next goal is to try customized ones that I think will be the most comfortable ones.
Read a lil’ more here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2017/09/17/how-my-tinnitus-helped-me-to-look-cute/
4. How can you live with your tinnitus?
I actually feel like I live a normal life. Of course here a whole other conversation about “normal” can be started…
But I have to say that working with my mind was the first step.
Getting a positive outlook on life and shifting my attention is a big part of it.
Working on a general state of relaxation is another big part of living a happy life with tinnitus. As you probably know I use mostly meditation, yoga and pranayama for that. But there are so many different ways you can do that – sports is another big part for me.
For others it might be, a walk in the woods, fishing… or whatever relaxes you!
Read more about it here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2018/12/23/living-a-normal-life-with-tinnitus/
5. My tinnitus got worse / overwhelms me. What can I do?
I get it. I have been there. Several times.
But it is actually always the same. When it gets worse or when we perceive it as more bothersome again it is because our focus is on it again.
So we need to take up that work again and shift our focus away. Work on our positive outlook on life and relax.
Sometimes we have to do things again we have already done in the past – re-learn a lesson. That doesn´t mean we are taking a step back. Now that is just a normal way how progress goes – it is an up and down. Never straight.
But as we have done it before, it is easier.
6. Do you think there will be a cure?
Maybe, maybe not.
There is a lot of research going on, so there is a possibility it might happen some time in the future. In my opinion though we must not forget that there are many different causes and types of tinnitus that it might be hard to find a one-fits-all solution.
Also, as long as I was hopping from one treatment or cure-promise to the next one I suffered so much.
Shifting my focus away from looking for a cure and onto living a happy right now really helped me with that. I don´t really think about a cure and more and am focused on living in the present moment and taking care of my body, mind and spirit right now.
7. Do you know someone who got cured?
No, I don´t.
But I know actually a bunch of people that habituated completely and don´t get bothered by their tinnitus one bit.
8. How do you meditate with tinnitus?
I often talk about the positive benefits of meditation and how it helps me to stay calm even though I have tinnitus.
Meditation in silence is still something that isn´t easy for me. So I don´t do it, because I actually want to relax completely.
So what I recommend is:
- Mantra Meditation (repeating the same phrases over and over again)
- Guided Meditations (on YouTube)
- Meditation Music (I just put some on from YouTube)
That way I don´t have to be in complete silence, but still have it fairly quiet and peaceful. There are even meditation apps or different kind of free programs that help you get started with meditation.
Read more about it here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2018/10/21/is-meditation-possible-with-tinnitus/
9. How did you become so positive about tinnitus?
That did not just happen over night…it was quite a journey and this is what may page is about. Helping others to get to that point quicker. To not suffer as much.
There was a point in my life that I just realized I could not go on like that.
I started out with Affirmations to change my view of life and I still do. I also started to practice yoga and meditation more regularly that also helped with it.
Thinking about things I am grateful for helps also.
Basically it is all about working with our mind. Our mind can´t tell if something is true or just imagination. So whatever we tell our mind, it just believes and goes with. If we tell our mind, that this is so horrible and that we can´t live with that…that is how we continue to feel.
If we tell ourselves that we are happy and that we are feeling well – that then will be exactly how we feel.
Read more about that here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2018/10/28/overcome-the-negative-association-with-tinnitus/
10. How much did your life change due to tinnitus?
In the beginning my life changed a lot and I almost didn´t do anything anymore. But then I decided that I didn´t want my tinnitus to control my life and step by step I went out into the world again.
Now there hardly things I don´t do anymore because of my tinnitus.
11. For how long have you had tinnitus?
I have had it for about 10 years and it has changed over time a few times. Mostly in the first 5 years when I followed a very different approach. It got louder with every sinus infection.
12. What is your tinnitus like?
Right now I have habituated and only feel bothered in certain situations.
It has about 5000 Hertz.
I perceive it as a high pitch peeping on both ears.
Usually it is one sound that can change in stressful situations.
13. Does your work place know about your tinnitus?
Yes, they do. And people are really nice about it and try to take it into consideration as much as possible.
I think openness and honesty is a big part of feeling well about our situation.
14. Do you still go out?
Yes I do.
I always wear ear plugs and I changed my way of going out. I only go out if I know I will feel comfortable there and I also leave if I don´t.
I got way pickier about the places where I go to and which whom I am going…I also noticed it hardly happens that I feel like I had a bad night.
Also alcohol can influence the experience.
So protecting my ears and drinking enough water are the most important points for me.
Read more about it here: https://www.thetinnituslife.com/2019/04/07/tinnitus-and-party/