Is there a cure for tinnitus? If there is one I will cure myself.
What is a cure? TheFreeDictionary.com has one defintion that reads ” Something that corrects or relieves a harmful or disturbing situation.” Using this definition, there seems to be a wide range of possible cures for tinnitus. I think the cures that “correct” are far more elusive than the cures that “relieve.” Let me list a few cures that provide relief as they come to my mind
What relieves my tinnitus:
- Background noise machine. These emit sounds like the ocean, wind, or other repetitive noises that provide a canvas which can reduce the perception of the tinnitus ringing. These can be helpful when trying to fall asleep or when in other quiet environments. Tinnitus noise machines are made by many companies and have various features.
- Hearing aids. From personal experience, I find that hearing aids help reduce or relieve my tinnitus by amplifying the ambient noises around me. I think that hearing aids provide stimulation to my auditory senses so that my attention is taken away from the ringing.
My hearing aids also have built in tinnitus background noise programs which I can activate; however, I find that my hearing aids provide adequate relief without the additional background noise program. I would recommend consulting with a hearing professional to be tested and properly fitted for a hearing assist device. From a personal standpoint, I purchased my original hearing amplifiers online from eBay. They were helpful to some degree but not as helpful or as inconspicuous as my Oticon Opn hearing aids which have been programmed for my hearing spectrum. Other companies such as Amazon sell Tinnitus masker hearing amplifiers if you want to just get familiar with that is available. I would recommend doing your research and consult a medical professional.
- Attention. Similar to how my hearing aids provide an auditory distraction or source for my brain to attend to besides my tinnitus, mental stimulation and physical activity can draw your mind away from the ringing. For example, when I am focused on reading, painting, gardening, exercising, watching TV, typing this blog post, or whatever else requires mental and/or physical focus and attention, I am much less aware of my tinnitus. When I am at work at my desk, I rarely notice my tinnitus. Keep your mind stimulated through mental and physical activities and get the benefit of learning something new, taking care of your health and so much more. Other ideas around attention include dancing, walking, sewing, playing with your pets, volunteering and playing games. In a sense, you want to get into a state of flow by doing things with the right amount of challenge and stretches you a little and puts you in the zone. There is a great books called Flow and Finding Flow that you may find inspirational both to help find activities that provide tinnitus relief and make you feel more alive in general.
- Meditation. I talked a lot about this and I practice my own tinnitus meditative practice. Most often, meditation in regards to tinnitus is about not thinking about the tinnitus. Similar to redirecting your attention, this could be helpful to many people even those without tinnitus. One principal around meditation is to focus on the present and use something like your breath to quiet your mind. I have practiced meditation and find it extremely powerful and life enhancing. I recommend meditating in this fashion for everyone. IT is simple.
- Meditation 2. I mentioned my own meditative practice. This in some ways is the opposite but the same as the above. I meditate towards my tinnitus and the ringing. I bring my attention to my tinnitus as opposed to away from it. The ringing is my focus point just like I may use my breath. This may not be for everyone, but for me it is critical to my relief. I do find it difficult to do at times so I do not recommend it to everyone as it could be distressful to those who are overwhelmed by the ringing. For me, my relationship with my tinnitus is not one of animosity. Yes, I do wish I did not have tinnitus, but at the same time, I do not fear it. Tinnitus is simply something I have in my life and I adapt to while trying to cure. I do not yell at it, I seek to understand it so i can help my body get relief and ultimately correct it.
So that is just a short list of ways that I provide relief to my tinnitus. Do they cure my tinnitus? Well, maybe not entirely, although I am further exploring my meditative techniques to address the other aspect of the definition of cure which is to “correct” the tinnitus states I experience constantly.
More to come on other methods to relieve and possibly one day “correct” my tinnitus such as my journey with supplements like taurine that is always evolving. I will cure my tinnitus.