Why Do Some People With Tinnitus Cope Better Than Others?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Karl, May 11, 2012.

    1. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Before I got tinnitus, I didn't know much about it. I remember reading a novel, "The Emmigrants", where one of the characters was kicked in his ear when he was a kid, after which he had tinnitus the rest of his life. That was about all I knew about tinnitus: A character in a book.

      I have read that 50 million people in the US have tinnitus. That's a lot of people who must not be talking very publically about their tinnitus. Maybe it's no a big deal to most people. They seem to just get on with their lives. Is their's not as loud? Or is it a subject they avoid talking about? Or are they not as sensitive...?

      Why is that some people with tinnitus cope better than others?
    2. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Karl --- I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I had tinnitus for about 25 years without any problems. Mine started after I was exposed to a loud sound system at a music club. I had long since acclimated to the tinnitus (in my right ear only), and I was able to go through my life without any problems. It was when my tinnitus became very bad (after taking blood pressure medicine) that I became desperate for a cure. When it affects every area of your life, and you can't function normally, that's when it becomes debilitating.

      There are probably a lot of people who have tinnitus to a lesser degree, and are able to live their lives normally without constantly being aware of their tinnitus. I was one of them until recently!
    3. Peter Phua

      Peter Phua Guest

      Hi Karl,

      I think a lot of it has to do with the volume. The simple fact is: the louder your tinnitus, the more distress it causes. It's the difference between sleeping with an annoying buzzing sound in your ears and sleeping with a fire alarm going off inside your head. I've experienced both ends of the spectrum, and the latter is far worse.

      Presently, there are no cures - there are treatments, but no cures. Some treatments lower the volume but we all have to accept that the ringing is here to stay for the time being.

      May I suggest checking out http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/201...us-when-the-ringing-wont-stop-clear-your-mind ?

      This article provides a brief overview of mental coping strategies that may reduce your suffering. I've personally found that it's important to accept that the ringing will be there and not to resist it emotionally - with anger, or frustration. In a sense this mindfulness has roots in Buddhist philosophy and the way in which the Buddhists dealt with suffering.

      Peter Phua
      Co-Founder, www.AudioNotch.com
      • Like Like x 1
    4. AUTHOR

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      When I talk to my wife about this, she almost brags that if she had tinnitus, she'd be able to put it out of her mind. She has a friend who also has tinnitus who is able to put it out of her mind.

      When I first got tinnitus last October, it was a little sound that didn't bother me. But then it really kicked-in, much louder in December. That is when I took notice.

      Last week, somebody in my company was describing a problem. My tinnitus went way up listening to this guy. I couldn't wait until he left the room! I can't cope with anymore problems than what I have on my plate.

      My Latest Experiment:
      For the past four weeks, for 2-4 hours a day I have been listening to tones that match my tinnitus. I made an MP3 file using a tone generater that I purchased on the Internet. I listen to a blend of 4kHz and 8kHz, which my audiogram indicates that I have hearing loss. Listening to these tones is not annoying - in fact, the tones are almost comforting in a strange way. Since I have tinnitus in one ear, I wear the headphone only on that ear. The tones don't exactly cancel my tinnitus when I wear the headphones, but it's almost as though I can't hear them.

      I am fairly certain this has changed my perception of my tinnitus. Instead of a pure tone ("eeeeeee......eee"), now it sounds more like white noise. Reaching 4 weeks was a milestone that I set. Some days I feel that I've been making progress. Other days, especially yesterday, I feel that I'm going crazy.

      I am putting all of my hopes in to diminishing my tinnitus using this sound therapy. If this doesn't work, I'll probably try another sound therapy (Dichonics, or Acoustic CR,...) when these becomes available. Based on what I've read, these other sound therapies can take 12 weeks.

      I think that if I can get it my tinnitus down to a low volume white noise level I'll be able to cope better.
    5. Peter Phua

      Peter Phua Guest

      Hi Karl,

      I think a key thing is to always maintain hope. A lot of the distress that tinnitus causes can be exacerbated by negative patterns of thinking, emotional stress, etc. I can also empathize with your situation when you described how your wife seemed to show a lack of concern for your condition - I think the suffering associated with tinnitus is very difficult for people to really understand if they don't have it.

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