Tinnitus is common in Los Angeles – about 20 percent of the population experiences a ringing in their ears.
The extent varies among individuals; for some, tinnitus is an occasional nuisance that is easy to ignore, but for others, it becomes a full-fledged distraction that negatively impacts almost every aspect of their daily lives.
There is no cure for tinnitus, but we have compiled a few life hacks that can help make it a lot more bearable.
Overcoming the Negative Effects of Tinnitus
Los Angeles residents with tinnitus develop a number of side effects as their symptoms worsen.
That ringing in the ears (it is also described as a buzzing, whooshing, roaring, clicking, etc.) leads to stress, anxiety and irritability – all of which make tinnitus even more noticeable.
It impedes sleep, which leads to daytime fatigue, memory lapses and concentration difficulties.
Ultimately, tinnitus may take a toll on relationships and careers.
The following tips can help ease the burden of living with tinnitus.
- High-fidelity earplugs. Tinnitus often starts out mild but may grow progressively worse over time, so you should make every effort to preserve what good hearing you have left. It’s important to protect your ears any time you are exposed to noisy activities. Standard earplugs you can pick up in any drugstore are okay but can distort and muffle sounds. High-fidelity earplugs solve this problem by relying on attenuators that reduce volume levels evenly, enabling you to better understand speech and enjoy music. You can find universal-fit high-fidelity earplugs online or in some specialty stores. For an even better fit and maximum protection, have your Los Angeles audiologist order a custom pair made from impressions of your ear canals.
- White noise. White noise, a random collection of sounds across the audible frequency range, help “mask” tinnitus by covering up the ringing sound, freeing your brain from the distraction. White noise machines and apps that feature soothing sounds like rain and ocean waves are available, or you can achieve the same effect by running an air-conditioner or turning on a fan. If you do use white noise as a masking technique, try setting the volume slightly lower than your tinnitus. This is known as partial masking and is an effective way to habituate your brain more easily to the tinnitus, making it less noticeable.
- Make a tinnitus kit. The Boy Scout motto, “be prepared,” is great advice for tinnitus sufferers, whose symptoms can come and go, making it unpredictable. Put together a “tinnitus kit” containing supplies that will help you deal with your symptoms any time they flare up and bring it with you when you leave home. A typical kit might include medications, earplugs, earbuds or headphones, hearing aids and an emergency contact list just in case. Include the name and phone number of your Los Angeles audiologist, too.
Following these simple strategies put together by your Los Angeles audiologist will help you manage tinnitus symptoms more effectively and should help improve your quality of life.