Tinnitus is that pesky ringing, buzzing, whistling or humming in your ears that no one else can hear. According to the American Tinnitus Association, more than 45 million Americans have experienced tinnitus, and nearly 20 million are affected on a regular basis. Those who are most likely to experiencing tinnitus are men, older adults and people who smoke or used to smoke. Tinnitus can be temporary for some, occurring only after noise exposure, or ongoing. Some people report that their tinnitus symptoms are debilitating.
Tinnitus Management Options
Sometimes tinnitus is a symptom of another underlying issue, such as temporomandibular joint disorder or head trauma. In these cases, the first step toward managing symptoms is to treat the underlying cause. However, for many, there is no underlying cause, or the underlying cause cannot be determined.
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward cure for tinnitus when it occurs on its own. However, there are ways to manage symptoms. Common management options include hearing aids, masking devices, medications, cognitive therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). Another at-home option that many are turning to is meditation.
How Does Meditation Help Tinnitus?
A major source of distress surrounding tinnitus is caused by the attention the sufferer gives it. By practicing meditation, you can distract yourself from your tinnitus. Here are some strategies for meditation:
- Be still. Find a comfortable position and hold it. Don’t move even to scratch your nose, as this will pull you out of your meditative state.
- Let your thoughts go. Clear your mind. This is much easier said than done, so when you do have a thought cross your mind, acknowledge it, then let it go.
- Don’t beat yourself up. If at first you have trouble with being still and letting go, keep trying. Like anything else, meditation becomes easier with practice.
Shari Eberts, a hearing health advocate, described her experience with meditation and tinnitus: “When I returned home, I maintained my meditation practice, and the silence stayed with me. Even my debilitating fluorescent light outbreaks are much fewer and farther between.”
Talk to Your Provider
There are many apps available to help you with guided meditation, or you can try it on your own. To discuss other options for managing your tinnitus, talk to your provider today!