Tinnitus? Don't Panic!

  • Tinnitus? Don't Panic!


    TIP! Click play below to listen to a nice soothing shower masking track while you read our guide.

    That isn’t easy, we know. You may be wondering; what is it, what is happening to me, will it get worse, am I going mad, will it ever stop??? HELP!

    It can be alarming, but tinnitus is not usually a sign of a serious or on-going medical condition. And it can often be temporary; it could very well go away in a few days or weeks or fade to the point that you rarely notice it. In fact this is what happens for the overwhelming majority of people who get it.

    The first thing you need to do is to stop listening to it. Don’t give it attention, don’t wonder if it’s still there when other noise masks it, try not to think about it and don’t panic about it. There are millions of us out here who have felt like you do now but we have got through it, and so can you.

    Tinnitus is a perception of an external sound that doesn’t exist. It can be a high or low pitched ringing or hum, or a more complicated sound. You’re not losing it, believe it or not you share this with around 10% of everybody in the world and it rarely becomes a big problem.

    A key to getting over tinnitus is to understand that it can’t hurt you. If you are finding the sound distracting or irritating right now you can either play the above masking track or open up our player while you read this (it will open in a separate tab on your browser). Find a sound that you like, get the volume to a level where it just about covers your tinnitus but you can still hear it a little and try to forget it exists whilst you read through this guide.

    Now relax.

    No matter how you feel right now it’s important to know that things are likely get a lot better. Pretty much all of us that contribute to and use this site have been in exactly the same place as you. Although it might not seem like it, there is a high likelihood that your experience of tinnitus will improve. It may not happen as fast as you want it to, but if you understand what helps you and what makes you worse, you can beat this and go back to living a normal life.

    Find out more about tinnitus from Tinnitus Talk.

  • See a Doctor

    Your next step is to get to the Doctors and arrange an appointment with a specialist. They will check you out and make sure there isn’t something that’s causing the tinnitus, which can be treated. There are things they can do to help in the early stages so it’s important that you are seen by somebody who understands tinnitus - if they tell you “you’ll just have to learn to live with it” ditch them, they haven’t the knowledge or experience to understand and treat you.

    Ask them about the full range of things available; make sure you get a proper consultation. There are many different causes of tinnitus so we can’t give you a list of things to try here. The right Doctor will explain what you can try.

    You may get something to help you, or may be suggested for a follow up with an ENT or audiologist. There are options for you, many things could help you. Have a look through the treatments section of the forum for some advice and support on the various options out there.

    Find out more about tinnitus from Tinnitus Talk.

  • Success Stories

    You can read other peoples success stories here and find out how they turned things around and carried on living (almost) normally. It’s so important that you understand there is hope; when you read a forum or see comments, you’re usually hearing from people who are hurting. One key thing to remember: We’ve been running a forum for years, do you know how long people stick around for? On average up to 3 months. They come on board, often scared and in pain, share their stories and pick up advice. Then they gradually come to terms with it and move on with their lives.

    So when you browse our forum (and any others) just remember that you are seeing the small proportion of people who are suffering. You don’t see the ones who have got better and moved on with their lives.

    Try these threads out: Positivity Thread, Sleep Thread, Success Stories

    You don’t have to join in the forum if you’re not ready, just have a look. It can be inspiring and supportive to see just what other people like you are thinking and doing about this. You are not alone; we’re here to help you and support you.

    If you don’t want to share publicly then you can reach out to one of the moderators here, we will do our best to help you.

    Find out more about tinnitus from Tinnitus Talk.

  • Get Support

    If you feel like you need to talk to somebody over the phone, there may be a support service to help. In the UK, the BTA helpline is 0800 018 0527 (free of charge - from within the UK only), 0114 250 9922 national rate within the UK, +44 (0)114 250 9922 outside the UK. It’s open Monday to Friday, 09.15 - 16.45. In Australia, you can call (03) 9762 8964 or (03) 9755 2238, more information at http://tinnitus.org.au/Contact.

    Support is important. Make sure that the people around you understand what’s going on and how they can help. Sometimes people really don’t understand what tinnitus is and that can make you feel isolated, we’ve found that giving them a taste of what you’re listening to can be very powerful. Play them Sounds of Tinnitus.

    Look for support from others who understand what’s going on too; there may be a support group in your area plus you can join our forum to talk to others who understand. Check out the support groups in the UK or in the USA.

    Find out more about tinnitus from Tinnitus Talk.

  • Make a Plan

    So, our next step is to find out what makes you worse and what makes you better and make a plan to beat this. You’ll see a lot of reports that this thing makes it better or that thing makes it worse. The reality is that you need to work this out for yourself, there is no one-size-fits-all.

    Take on board advice you get and go about it logically – but do be aware of getting correct information; things can work for one person and not for another. We recommend you don’t focus on the tinnitus at all, don’t give it attention. But if you do happen to notice something making a change it’s worth doing your research to make sure you do the right things to put it out of your mind.

    Have a look at our free downloads section and see if any of our audio projects help you out. Many people can get relief from these so it’s worth having a try. Don’t worry if they don’t help though, there are a number of people who don’t respond to audio therapies.

    Browse this site, learn more about what you CAN do, take part in the forum to ask questions, get on track and get back to living life to the fullest. You can become part of that 3 month group, we really hope that your stay with us is a short one.

    Find out more about tinnitus from Tinnitus Talk.

  • Our Tips

    Finally, the below tips are very general but we’ve found that they are true for the majority, so hopefully they can help you out.

    • Avoid really loud places or wear earplugs that reduce the volume to a safe level
      • Most people find that their tinnitus can become worse after loud noise
    • Reduce stress
      • You probably already feel stressed, like anything else stress will make you feel worse. Take out big sources of stress in your life.
    • Learn to relax
      • One thing that a lot of us in the modern world forget to do is relax, we don’t often make time to sit and forget everything.
      • Find something that you can relax doing and make some time for it in your daily routine.
    • Do what you love
      • If you really absorb yourself in a task you will find that you don’t listen to your tinnitus and you can completely forget it’s there.
    • Don’t let tinnitus stop you
      • You might feel like your life is over but it isn’t.
      • If you have a struggle with something, find a way around it. If you’re a musician there is a lot more you can explore (the writer moved to making more chilled out music which gives just as much pleasure).
    • Have a look at these great resources for more information that might help you out

    Find out more about tinnitus from Tinnitus Talk.

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If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.