There are many different ways of coping with cases of acute tinnitus versus long-term cases of tinnitus.
If you’re a new patient—defined as someone who has had tinnitus for six months or less—it is recommended that you first get a hearing test and an evaluation by a medical doctor. Afterwards, work with an audiologist based on those results and act accordingly.
Let’s imagine you have some hearing loss or your hearing isn’t in the normal range—what do you do? First, find an audiologist that’s trained in tinnitus retraining therapy, and follow retraining therapy protocols while continuing to live your life. Don’t give tinnitus any unnecessary attention and try your best to stay mentally occupied and focused on more important things. Focus on your overall health and wellness, and include supplemental therapies that promote good mental and physical health. Try not to focus and fixate on your tinnitus, as that can then create an increase in the perception of tinnitus, which is not intuitive or helpful even though it’s very common.
If you’re a patient with chronic tinnitus—defined as someone who has had tinnitus for six months or more—it is recommended that you first rule out hearing loss as a contributing factor. If applicable, consider purchasing hearing aids with appropriate tinnitus sound therapy built into them. Additionally, work to personally substitute negative associations about tinnitus with more neutral associations. While this can be done by yourself, this would also be a good opportunity to consider asking for help, whether that’s from an audiologist, a therapist, a coach, someone in your family, or a support group.
For example, if you’re having a bad day of tinnitus the automatic reaction is to think about how much you can’t stand living with this sensation. If the tinnitus keeps getting louder, you might think how you can’t see any future living with this kind of sound, and you might question how you can continue on. Ultimately, this pattern of thinking may not be serving you. Try replacing this negative story with a more neutral story in your mind: something along the lines of, “My tinnitus is very loud today, that’s really something, now let me try to bring my attention towards other areas of my life. Let me use sound so I’m not in a silent place. Let me use sound to help me because it’s quite loud today.” That’s just one little example of how you can use neutral thought patterns to deal with the effects of chronic tinnitus.
To learn what may help you manage your tinnitus, please download our free 10-page e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Tinnitus Relief. Dr. Thompson offers Tinnitus Retraining Therapy via telehealth. Please contact our team at Pure Tinnitus to learn more.