Changes in Tinnitus and How to Cope

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Nov 19, 2015.

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    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      A question that usually arises when tinnitus spikes or increases over time is how best to cope? I often reply to emails and talk to people on the telephone asking the same question.

      In my opinion, it is imperative that a person with intrusive tinnitus always uses sound enrichment especially at night with the use of a sound machine by the bedside or attached to a pillow speaker even after they have habituated to their T. During the day one can listen to low-level non-intrusive music such as classical playing in the background. Any music is acceptable but newbies shouldn’t use it at night as it draws the Brain’s attention and can delay the habituation process.

      I have talked to people that have stopped using sound enrichment after they have habituated thinking all is now well, only to find their T gradually becoming intrusive again. Anyone seasoned to tinnitus knows the importance of using sound enrichment. Of course we are all different so this doesn’t apply to everyone.

      Equally important as sound enrichment is to learn and adopt a positive outlook on life. Many of us know this isn’t easy but I believe it is possible to do. I hope my posts: Positivity and tinnitus, and Staying positive with tinnitus will help steer a person’s thoughts in the right direction and try not to think that their life is doomed and won’t improve because it certainly can.

      It doesn’t mean a person mustn’t ever feel negative about their T just try not to make it consume your whole life. So how does a person stop themselves thinking negative all the time about their T? I have been asked this even after people have read my two posts and I can understand that.

      I usually advise people to print out: Positivity and tinnitus and Staying positive with tinnitus, and keep them close to hand and refer to them whenever they feel negativity is taking a hold. Becoming positive with tinnitus is a discipline and takes time to achieve it’s not something that happens overnight.

      Something else I advise people to try to do is to think: What I’m able to do with tinnitus, instead of thinking what my tinnitus prevents me from doing.

      Over time the thought: what I'm able to do with tinnitus, will gradually start to make an impression on the subconscious mind and you'll be able to let go of negative thinking. Life will start to become easier and you’ll surprise yourself with the things you’re able to do with relative ease that previously might have been difficult. Your tinnitus will be pushed further into the background and cease to become so important in your daily life.

      Michael
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Hey, great post.

      Overall I agree with a lot of what you're saying here -- I have however had a somewhat different experience with 'sound enrichment'. Overall I've been doing a lot better with this issue than I have in the past, and over the last year I completely stopped using a fan to sleep (something I'd been doing since long before I had tinnitus) -- in fact, I've been spending increasing amounts of time in completely silent rooms. I understand that this is something which provokes increased anxiety and T awareness in a lot of people... but it seems to have the reverse effect for me!

      The way I look at it these days is that I'm going to hear some stuff I'd rather not pretty much no matter what I do, but I don't have to use that as a reason to subject myself to other obnoxious sounds.

      I'm totally with you on the cognitive stuff; my experience has also been that the way that I consciously choose to mentally interact with this condition, has a lot to do with how it progresses and how much it detracts from my life. This is somewhat controversial on here, though -- more or less, those principles may not really apply to everyone. It all makes sense to me because I personally believe that 99.99% of the things I spend time thinking about are just illusions and ego-dreams of one kind or another, and certainly the most provocative, nightmare states which tinnitus has led me to, have involved deep spiritual suffering as a result of things that are, fundamentally, transient and illusory.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Linearb,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      We are all different and whatever works for you that’s fine. I see that you have had tinnitus as long as I have and therefore you are seasoned to it. However, as you know no two people experience this condition the same. In general though, sound enrichment works for most people particularly at night. However, like everything sound enrichment takes time to get used to.

      Some newbies are not aware sound enrichment does it’s magic when we are in deep sleep which you’ll know as REM. For this reason, it’s important to use a sound machine at night playing until morning. For the brain and auditory system never switches off and if they hear silence, have the ability to increase the tinnitus during our waking hours.

      As I’ve previously mentioned, when I’ve counselled some people they’ve wondered why their T has increased after they’ve habituated. The usual reason is because they’ve stopped using sound enrichment.

      Michael
       
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    4. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @Michael Leigh,
      I wasn't aware about sound enrichment during REM sleep. What is the 'magic' it is doing. I have been aiming to sleep without any extra sounds. Thanks for clarification. Phil
       
    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi Phil,
      With all due respect, you are not helping yourself by not using sound enrichment at night. When we are in deep sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) The brain and auditory system don't switch off and if they hear silence will increase the tinnitus during waking ours. The sound machine supplies the brain and auditory system with what they need: sound. That way they will not increase the internal audiotory gain. If you read the TRT book written by Professor Jasterboff (developer of TRT) and Johnathon Hazel, it explains all about the importance of using sound enrichment during the day and especially at night and I agree with them.

      Michael

      PS: it is important to know, music shouldn't be used for sound enrichment at night as it will draw the brain's attention. Nature sounds are usually the best via a sound machine.
       
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    6. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @Michael Leigh
      Thanks I wasn't aware of that. A friend of mine only has white noise on timed for 30 mins until she falls asleep. I'll let her know. Would leaving a fan running be sufficient? Regards Phil
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      A fan would be ok Phil but for best results buy a sound machine. Sound Oasis make the best units.
      Michael
       
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    8. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @Michael Leigh,
      Once again many thanks. Regards Phil
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You are welcome Phil. I have just posted information on Oasis sound machines and hope it's helpful.
      Michael
       
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