Tinnitus affects about 20 percent of the population of Katy, and many of those individuals also experience hearing loss to some degree.
This is a double whammy of sorts; impaired hearing often makes the ringing in your ears more severe.
Your audiologist in Katy would like to share some coping strategies to help those with hearing loss and tinnitus manage their symptoms more effectively.
Tinnitus Impacts Quality of Life
No matter how bad your tinnitus is, it’s bound to have some impact on your quality of life.
It can disrupt sleep, cause stress and anxiety and interfere with concentration and memory.
Whether you experience a ringing in your ears or another sound, such as a buzzing, roaring, whooshing, chirping or hissing, you are likely wishing it would go away!
If you also suffer from hearing loss you’ve got it even worse; many of the traditional strategies for managing tinnitus involve sound and are less effective if you have trouble hearing.
Just because there’s no cure for tinnitus doesn’t mean there aren’t remedies available.
Even people in Katy with both hearing loss and tinnitus can count on a few tried-and-true strategies to help them cope.
Your audiologist in Katy recommends the following:
- See an audiologist. Your first step should involve scheduling an appointment with an audiologist. A hearing care specialist can diagnose the cause of your tinnitus and, in a few cases, may be able to successfully treat your symptoms and restore at least a little bit of your hearing. Sometimes, too much earwax or a new medication can cause a ringing in the ears; these are easily treatable. Your audiologist will likely administer an audiogram, a test that measures the extent and type of your hearing loss and fit you with hearing aids targeting the specific frequencies you are having trouble with.
- Use hearing aids. 90 percent of people with hearing loss in Katy benefit from wearing hearing aids. Not only do they help restore the frequency range of your hearing loss; they can also be used to manage tinnitus. With better hearing, your tinnitus might not be as noticeable. Even if it is, you can turn up the volume on your hearing aids; this amplifies sounds in your environment, helping to cover up the ringing in your ears. Many hearing aids come with built-in masking features such as white noise, music or nature sounds that can help distract your brain from the tinnitus. When the perceived volume of your tinnitus is lowered, it becomes less bothersome and your brain is able to “habituate” to the sound, eventually tuning it out.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Stress can worsen tinnitus, so incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help calm you down and make the ringing in your ears less noticeable. Try taking a hot bath, giving yourself a trigger point massage utilizing a tennis ball or foam roller and practicing progressive muscle relaxation by tensing and then relaxing muscle groups for 10-20 seconds at a time, starting with your feet and toes and working your way up to your face and head. Breathing exercises are another great way to reduce anxiety. Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise; this involves the following steps:
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a whooshing sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose while counting to four.
- Hold your breath and count to seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound and counting to eight.
- Repeat the cycle three more times.
- Remove tinnitus triggers. Tinnitus is rarely constant; it often comes in spikes that vary in volume and intensity, catching you off guard and making it more difficult to cope – especially when you also have hearing loss. Starting a journal and keeping track of diet, lifestyle and environment can help you identify triggers that worsen your tinnitus. Once you know the causes, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate those factors.
Your audiologist in Katy can help with more tips and strategies for coping with tinnitus and hearing loss.
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Our Katy Audiologist Office Location
21715 Kingsland Blvd
Katy, TX 77450