How Can I Stop Listening to My Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by sanj100, Oct 8, 2017.

    1. sanj100

      sanj100 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi guys.

      I have a question for you all.

      How can I break the habit of listening to my tinnitus?

      I have OCD and anxiety which doesn't help things.

      My tinnitus isn't that loud, but it is still very distressing as I can't stop listening to it or trying to search it out.

      What have you guys done that has been successful in stopping yourselves from listening to your tinnitus.

      Look forward to your replies.

      Thanks,

      Sonny.
       
    2. Pleasure_Paulie

      Pleasure_Paulie Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise or maybe... unicorns!
      Time is a big factor. Medication also helps as does advice from a Psychogist.

      A technique I use is “hear it, but don’t listen to it” and I interrupt myself within 60 seconds of listening to it. Learning to “hear it, but not fear it” really helps.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sanj100

      sanj100 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This is actually really great advice.

      Out of interest. How many times do you "hear it" a day, on average?
       
    4. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I have this problem also. I don't have a diagnosis of of OCD but I do have an obsessive personality and I like to be in control and with T you have no control.

      Some days are worse then others though. Today has been not so good, as I have had trouble not listening out for my tinnitus. other days it is easier to not listen out for to it. In general I have to be occupied with something that I like doing, that engages me and keeps me focused.....it is then I only notice T a little.
       
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    5. Philippe79

      Philippe79 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      June / 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      H.F.H.L.
      I wouldn’t say I’ve actually done anything. I slowly became less obsessed with it and slowly but surely started to notice the noise less and less. I’ve got to a point now where I’ve habituated to it or very close to it. I still monitor the noise but nowhere near as much. Stay positive and the brain will do the rest even though the improvements may be gradual.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sanj100

      sanj100 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks, that really helps a lot. I keep hearing that time is a great healer.How loud is your tinnitus if you don't mind me asking. Is it the type you only hear in a quiet room, or something louder than that?
       
    7. Bobbie7
      Wishful

      Bobbie7 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Extreme stress, sinus infection
      Hi @sanj100 - I think that involvement in something which completely interests you is a good way of diverting your attention away from listening to your tinnitus. I just finished working on a large piece of furniture and all throughout, I was so absorbed in this activity that I was not conscious of my T at all. Then, when it was finished and I sat down to rest, I again clearly heard it. When we are idle with nothing much to do or be interested in, we can very easily fall into the "listening trap" and it can greatly dampen our spirits. When I am listening to cd's (not through ear phones) or my favorite jazz radio station I am so focused that I tend not to be aware of my tinnitus. Of course, there may be times when it is more difficult to re-focus your attention but this is why I think having interests/hobbies make it easier. Unfortunately, there will be those times when we can not always be occupied.
       
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    8. Philippe79

      Philippe79 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      June / 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      H.F.H.L.
      No i don’t mind you asking. I currently have the radio on (at roughly 60db, not very accurate as using phone but rough guide to the volume) and I can comfortably hear it above that. I can also hear it on a football field. It’s more a case of me being able to take my mind of it rather than searching for the noise and it not being there. If I want to hear it I will. I’m just less obsessed with it. I will say it does fluctuate a lot (day to day) but the tone is always the same and luckily it is just the one tone and it is at least steady, which I would have thought is a lot easier to habituate to.
       
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    9. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
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    10. Richard zurowski

      Richard zurowski Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection.
      @sanj100 It’s very difficult to stop thinking about your tinnitus especially if it’s very loud which mine is unfortunately. The only thing that helps me is to keep busy doing things which will occupy my mind that way I don’t focus on my tinnitus so much. Also I find my hearing aids very helpful with white noise in dealing with tinnitus when I’m not active. Everybody is different what works for some will not work for others you have to find your own way in dealing with tinnitus.
       
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    11. Philippe79

      Philippe79 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      June / 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      H.F.H.L.
      For some reason my tinnitus is always worse when I am at home and I’m at a bit of a loose end, regardless of whether there are noises going on around me (microwave, cooker, dishwasher etc!), if I am not doing anything constructive I fall into that trap! Even something simple like taking the dog out for a walk takes my mind of it, even though there may not be much of a difference in noise levels between the two different environments. It’s all about the stimulation. I hate being at idle!
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sanj100

      sanj100 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      That's a super interesting study and shows not only that the BTS method has some strong scientific basis but also that physical activity helps tinnitus.
       
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    13. Dana
      Busy

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Bucharest, Romania
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      You are listening to your tinnitus? Interested in that sound? Oh, "great", your brain, knowing that you are interested in T sound will make it louder for you, to help you, since it sees you that you are so interested in it.

      Did it ever happen to you, before T, to strain your ears in order to hear a certain sound (a conversation, a song, etc), tuning out other sounds? Did you notice that the brain helped you and you succeeded that? Same goes with tinnitus.

      I am not scolding you, cause we all did that (permanently monitoring our T levels). It is such normal behavior, to be curious about the T sound. Is it still there? How loud is it right now?

      Time. At one point my desire to continue to live like before T was so strong, i got to miss my previous life, that i stopped checking the level. I stopped making T the central point of my life, i stopped living "around" my tinnitus, between two measurings.
      Do not understand that at the beginning of my T i did not do the exact same as you do. But you know the saying : "smart people learn from their mistakes, but really smart people learn from OTHER'S people mistakes". Do that!
      You have to literraly search for it sometimes in order to find it? Consider yourself lucky that you are in this category!
      Ignore it and continue your life as of you do not have T, that's my advice

      One more important thing: monitoring your T represents an obstacle in your habituation. Habituation is the second biggest desire of every tinnitus sufferer. (I saved the first place on the list of desires for "getting cured of it") Habituation is the natural adaptation of the brain to the T problem. Being bothered by T, seeing that there is no vital information in it, the brain starts to "ignore" the T sound, the same way it blocks out the sound of a wall clock after a while. Help your brain in achieving that, do not act against it.
       
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    14. Pleasure_Paulie

      Pleasure_Paulie Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise or maybe... unicorns!
      I’ve noticed the more I do this, the less I hear it/notice it. But it’s akways there hissing away and all. I don’t count how many times I hear it as that further gives tinnitus your focus. I quickly move my thoughts elsewhere. I think enriching your sound environment is fundamental too - have music playing or white noise playing at night helps.
       
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    15. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      3 words = Time + Support + Relaxation

      1. Time - it will take you some time to adjust to this and get life back in order. All of us went through this and time can heal and help out.

      2. Support - Get as much support as possible. Talk it out with those that you love, try to have others help you. Don't deal with it alone and isolate yourself.

      3. Relaxation - try to reduce your stress and try to relax as much as possible.

      Those are my formulas for handling this ordeal.....B well......
       
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    16. Aaron44126
      Balanced

      Aaron44126 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Eustachian tube dysfunction (from infection / labyrinthitis)
      I've been working on OCD that arose because of my tinnitus. I was definitely obsessed with it early on, I could not stop listening and thinking about it.

      Breaking the anxiety cycle is important. Your brain naturally pays more attention to things that make you anxious. If you try to "force" yourself to redirect your attention or distract yourself away from it somehow, that is the "compulsion" part of OCD, and it may lead to short-term success but it is not the long-term answer. It takes time, but you have to learn to allow yourself to perceive it without reacting to it so much, analyzing it, and so forth. Once you learn to just "roll with it" and your anxiety level goes down, your brain will stop paying so much attention to it — when you do notice it, it will bother you less, and will be easier to focus your attention elsewhere. Depending on the type of sound that you have this may be easier said than done, for sure.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sanj100

      sanj100 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for this, makes a lot of sense. How far through are you with the habituation process. How often do you usually hear it and dwell on it in a day?
       
    18. Aaron44126
      Balanced

      Aaron44126 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Eustachian tube dysfunction (from infection / labyrinthitis)
      I hear it all of the time, there's no way for me to count the occurrences. I just stopped caring about it really, a couple of weeks ago. I'd liken it to the fact that I can also hear the HVAC system running here at work, or I can hear the engine sound of my car when I'm driving, but I don't really care about those either. So, my reaction is more like "Oh, there's a sound there, whatever" and less like "Agh, there's a terrible sound there, I really wish it would go away!!". It's easy to set aside and focus on whatever it is that I need or want to do, but if there is a lull in activity, it comes right back.

      I'm not sure how it is for other people, but for me, that seems like the desired end goal of habituation. You don't stop hearing it, you just stop caring that you hear it, so when your focus is elsewhere the tinnitus is not something that your mind is focusing on... So maybe, you "effectively" don't hear it for periods of time while your mind is otherwise occupied, but that does not mean that it is gone. I don't think that there is anyone who has habituated who never notices their tinnitus, but they may indeed never or very rarely have any associated anxiety when they notice it.

      Now, I may have it easy. My tinnitus has been in decline for over a month and a half, and it's way quieter than it used to be. Maybe it will eventually go away, and naturally that is what I would prefer, but I could totally deal with it if what I have now is permanent.
       
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    19. Nola

      Nola Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
       
    20. Nola

      Nola Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've been feeling really down this last few days, but after reading your post, it picked me right back up and encouraged me--made a whole lot of sense. Thank you!
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sanj100

      sanj100 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 months
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey Nola.

      Hope you're well.

      How long have you had tinnitus? How did you get it?
       
    22. Nola

      Nola Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've had it since June of this year (about 4 months now). I have my ups and downs. I am working on trying NOT to pay so much attention to it. It's so hard because where I live there are lots of crickets which amplifies that high pitched ringing that I have. I'm trying to keep the faith that my brain will adjust and get used to it. I believe I got it from stress since doctors can't seem to find anything wrong with my ears. How are you hanging in there? What helps you the most?
       
    23. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Writing a short rant where it may help others and others may have an idea to help me.

      When I just had subjective T with a buzz, I was finally able to not think about it when it dropped from a 10 to a 6. Many with subjective T will see gradual improvement with their T. After I received improvement I rarely received spikes. When I wore noise blocking headphones for over 30 minutes on a busy highway, I did get a 12 hour moderate spike if I took my headphones off still being on the highway. Also after improvement, I never had a problem with salt or caffeine, maybe because I was stress free. I was able to walk into stores without fear of noise.

      Now with somatic T from dental whiplash, I have severe high pitch ringing. Sort of like a car with squealing brakes. Twice in the last few months my somatic T dropped from a 10 to 6. Yesterday this happened and relieve lasted for a couple of hours. I had a muscle spasm in my bad neck and right after that my jaw relaxed. So the muscle spasm was a positive. From this I'm thinking that there may be neck therapy that will lower my T.

      Something is off balance in my neck on my left side where the ringing is louder and where my TMD is a problem. It could be muscles going off balance with interactions of nerves or it could be my loss of normal lordosis - the neck spine. I've had x rays and CTs showing problems, but I was sitting or standing straight during the exams.

      Subjective T should improve with lowering stress. Involvement with a hobby helped me. I have not loss all hope with my present somatic T, as maybe there is a treatment that will get be back close to my baseline of 6 permanently.
       
    24. Santiago Biagi
      Jaded

      Santiago Biagi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One exposure on loud club
      Good rest + Busy schedule (With hearing protection) + Loved ones near does the trick for me.

      Sure I can listen to T roaring when wearing hearing plugs but it’s for the better.

      And remember, time is a good healer, either to fading or to habituation, it’s all just a matter of time.
       
    25. Tweaker
      Transparent

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Wish I could have told myself to not monitor or listen to it back in the early days. It may not have become so bad as it is now. I think continual monitoring is the worst thing you can do. I hear mine above most things. Indoors it is quite unbearable. Nothing indoors masks it. Outdoors is better.
       
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    26. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      In his book, Rewiring Tinnitus, Glenn Schweitzer presents a form of meditation in which you actually focus on listening to the tinnitus sound(s), while visualizing it in certain ways, in a state of relaxation. According to Mr. Schweitzer, by doing these exercises, the mind quickly becomes less threatened by the tinnitus, and stops listening to it the rest of the time. I have not tried this method, as I just received the book a day or so ago, but the idea sounds crazy enough that it just might work.
       
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    27. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      If you do try it, please let us know the outcome! There is a member here — can’t recall their name — who has had tinnitus their entire life. They are not bothered by it and do seem to use it to relax. Maybe think of it as your own personal white noise machine?
       
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    28. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Thanks, but I have no idea how long this takes or if it will work for me, it's brand new to me. I'm very interested in exploring ways that provide effective and lasting tinnitus relief, just like most everybody else here. One of the suggestions in the book is to practice visualizing your tinnitus, in a calm meditative state, as being outside your body and coming from a speaker in the room, or from imaginary person across the room that disappears. The author also recommends other visualizations while meditating on your tinnitus, such as volume and tone knobs to control your tinnitus level and frequencies, a large ON-OFF switch that looks like something from a mad scientist's laboratory, which you can flip on and off. He claims that in time, after practicing these techniques, or similar ones of your own preferences, your tinnitus will be made far less noticeable in your daily life, and reduce even more with continued practice.
       
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    29. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Very interesting, thanks for sharing this. That really struck me because for me personally, I prefer when my tinnitus clearly sounds like it’s coming from my ear versus bouncing around my head. When it originates more from my ear, I can more easily pretend it’s just an outside sound.
       
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    30. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Well, that was just my impression of it, not the exact words of the person who wrote the book, but the Mp3 guided meditation is true to the book's version and worth a listen.
       
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