As a three – almost four year sufferer of tinnitus I know how debilitating and distressing it can be.
I will write a post about my experience with the disease at a later date if I feel like it would help others.
For now, I thought I would write a post of the ten things I used when I first ‘got’ tinnitus in order to help me to stay happy and calm and not give in to the depression I felt with it.
I hope these tips can help someone else suffering as I know it can cause you to feel incredibly isolated and panicky.
Keep calm loves,
- Noise App: As night is the hardest time to deal with tinnitus for most sufferers, I find sleeping with a noise app on helps. My favourite app is called ‘Sleep Pillow’. It has lots of different noises to suit your varying level of tinnitus such as general white noise, fan sounds, rain (my personal fave) a crackling fire and more. There is a free version which you can try and then if you find it useful you can buy the full one. It still helps me to this date when the sounds get too overwhelming.
- Bubble Baths: I found this so so helpful when I was first struggling. I used to get the bath really bubbly and it worked in two ways: first of all, the bubbles make a really comforting sort of crackling sound as they pop which distracted me from my tinnitus and it allowed me to forget about it for an hour or so while I just relaxed. Secondly, being stressed makes tinnitus worse ( I know, how the hell are you meant to relax with 24/7 sounds?!) so having a bath will calm you down and make you feel a little bit happier.
- Lower your caffeine and alcohol intake: I know this is boring but it is true. It raises your adrenaline which causes the blood to rush faster and increase your tinnitus. Doctors will give you this advice and it honestly does work. Plus, I avoided most loud situations like clubs after I was diagnosed because I was scared of making it worse so I don’t really drink anyway.
- Keep busy: Don’t overdo it and stress yourself out, but don’t sit at home wallowing. I did this for WAY to long and let myself feel like nothing was ever going to be normal and I’d never be happy again and this made me ill and sad. Not nice. So while it is important to be calm and relax; if you start to feel down, go for a walk, call a friend for a chat or run some errands.
- See an audiologist: I saw an amazing audiologist when it started. She helped me to talk through it using some cognitive behavioural therapy and also fitted my ears with a special hearing aid which constantly fed my brain a little bit of white noise so that once I took them out – my brain was already used to it and it didn’t over focus on it when I was in a quiet situation.
- Enjoy nature! Weirdly, being in the outdoors made me appreciate that my life wasn’t now all about tinnitus – which I had a habit of doing. Just breathing in the fresh air and enjoying a walk made me feel happier and less stressed.
- If you get overwhelming feelings of depression, please go and seek help. I know it can be hard to ask for help with your mental health, but it’s so important. Tinnitus claims so many lives to suicide and I believe this can be avoided with proper help.
- Remind yourself that your life hasn’t changed because of tinnitus. Try to see it as just an annoyance and not the end of the world. Believe me, I’ve been there and it took me over a year to start realising that life goes on!
- Talk to someone who understands. When I first got tinnitus, I didn’t know anyone who had it. I had nobody to reassure me, nobody to really talk to about it. I was angry that my family didn’t understand why I was so upset all the time even though they were incredibly supportive. If you can’t talk to someone you know, I’m all ears! (pardon the pun) but honestly, if you need to talk please email me at: email@example.com I always want to help people if I can!
- Finally, something that always helps me when I’m feeling really desperate. It may seem silly but it helps me! Remember, modern medicine is amazing and who knows if a cure will be discovered in the future!