Ways to Cope with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Michael goff, Dec 6, 2015.

    1. Michael goff

      Michael goff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello everyone

      So I've had tinnitus for several years now, currently 33 and have had tinnitus since my mid-late twenties. The first thing I should say is that my tinnitus was, regrettably, self-induced through over exposure to loud music. I played in a very loud band for many years and also make music at home, both of these activities involve over exposure to loud noise for long periods of time. Using headphones to monitor music that I was recording, I feel, was the biggest contributor to me now having tinnitus. I would say to any musician ALWAYS CHECK YOUR VOLUME LEVELS and WEAR EAR DEFENDERS, this could save your ears (and mind).

      Once you've got tinnitus there really is no going back! And when you do first have it, it can be really hard. I remember a particular occasion; I was mixing a track and there was a frequency clash that was annoying me, I was using headphones and running them through an amp, before I knew it I was nearly maxing the volume on the amp trying to really figure out this frequency clash in my mix… I then started to feel nauseas and I realised one of my ears was bleeding!!!

      The tinnitus didn't actually start there, believe it or not, but sort of crept in slowly. When I first became really aware of it as an ongoing thing, it was almost like it had always been there anyway but I'd never really noticed it much before. Then there was another occasion when I was mixing again, had been for almost the whole day, and I realised that my tinnitus was almost as loud as the music I was mixing. I had to get up and go out of the room, outside of the house, I felt so suffocated, it almost gave me a panic attack. This was when I first properly realised the spectral nature of my tinnitus, that it can get louder, higher or lower pitched, harsher or softer and that the way I treat my ears depends on the 'mood' of my tinnitus!

      Then it began affecting my sleep… this is the hard one. I'd always been the sort of person to have aimless voices wondering through my thoughts as i drifted off to sleep, but now there was just this unending ring. like sine-waves layered up, oscillating, the pulse that comes in lower down near your glands, the smothering and masking of the micro world of real-world sound that you have lost and the fact that you now have to deal with it, for the rest of your life… this can all be very hard to cope with.

      So how do you cope with it? well the very first thing is acceptance. You have to accept that you have it, that you cannot change the fact that you have it, it is now a part of who and what you are and therefore you need to try and care for it. This is the first big step to coping with it.

      Then there are tricks that I've learnt to help cope with it so here is a list

      Water - One of the first tricks I picked up was that water, the white noise and the soft timbre of flowing water is amazing for (my?) tinnitus. The tinnitus becomes a part of the sound of the river and this can feel very therapeutic. Again, every tinnitus sufferer must have noticed the occasional 'disappearance' of their tinnitus, when in the shower and water runs down the back of the neck and head. (note: it is a misnomer to think that all white-noise will ease tinnitus, for example, the white noise heard when walking along a roadside is terrible for my tinnitus. Timbre is massively important)

      Meditation - I think there is a definite psychological aspect to tinnitus suffering, which is that once you really notice it, you can't stop noticing it. Therefore really concentrating your attention on other internal activity is good, like focusing on your breathing, or the phosphene patterns one sees when closing the eyes, the sensation of (kundalini) energy travelling up and down the spine and throughout the body. When you go fully into meditation and sense these internal activities extend to and resonate with the external world, it can be very soothing physically and emotionally.
      whether you buy into the spiritual merits of meditation is your own thing, but if It doesn't (eventually) help with your tinnitus suffering, I'd be very surprised.

      Massage - Water and meditation are all well and good but not always practical, so an easy instant solution is to massage the back of the head particularly behind the ears, this will mask your tinnitus and for a moment you can pretend to be like everyone else that isn't having to sit there and massage the back of their heads.

      Chopin - some music isn't good for my tinnitus, some is. you need to figure this one out for yourself, but for me it is chopin that has gotten me to sleep on many a troublesome night. Again the trick here is volume level, what you don't want to do is make your tinnitus worse through straining the ears all night.

      (all of the above could be tried in conjuncture; sitting by a river massaging the back of the head whilst meditating and listening to a bit of chopin on the iPhone may go a long way to helping with the tinnitus dreads)

      But here is the best one I could give you

      Play - when I started to hear my tinnitus musically, when I started to try to intuit interaction and in some sense control of it, this is when I really felt I was coping with it. There are notes, tones, what key is your tinnitus? Is the left ear as loud as the right? which one is higher pitched? is one closer? is the tinnitus in my ears, my mind, my whole body or outside it? This all involves not just accepting your tinnitus but embracing it, as far as I know this is the only cure to tinnitus suffering.
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    2. joseph Ghass

      joseph Ghass Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      You missed one key point.

      Nutrition therapy.

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