Five tips from Neuromod Medical’s expert audiology team to help you manage your tinnitus
One common misconception that exists when it comes to tinnitus is that it’s a condition only suffered by older people. In fact, tinnitus can present in people in any age group – even young children. The reason this misconception exists is mainly because tinnitus is more common in older people as it is strongly linked with hearing loss, something that becomes more prevalent in people as they age[i].
Tinnitus can manifest when there is loss of input to the auditory system, which can happen when hearing loss or damage occurs. To compensate for this loss of input to the auditory system, an increase in neural firing occurs in the brain which is mistakenly perceived as sound or tinnitus.
This means that it is important that people of every age look after their hearing as, when it comes to tinnitus, prevention is vital. However, that rings hollow for those who are suffering from “ringing in the ears”. While there is no known cure for tinnitus, there are a number of things you can do to manage it.
- Get assessed
If you are struggling to hear conversations with friends and family or straining to hear what’s being said on the television or radio, then it’s important to get your hearing assessed by an audiologist. This will help them understand the severity of your hearing loss and assess your tinnitus. From here the audiologist will be able to make treatment recommendations which could improve your quality of life.
- Use a hearing aid if you experience hearing loss
If you have hearing loss and it is recommended by your audiologist, a hearing aid can help improve your hearing by amplifying sounds. Hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus by giving you more access to environmental sounds. Many people who have tinnitus and a hearing loss become less aware of tinnitus when using a hearing aid.
- Wear hearing protection
This may seem like a no-brainer but it is essential to wear hearing protection if you frequent loud environments, such as concerts or noisy pubs for example. This also includes occupational, social and other activities such as being in proximity of loud cars or motorcycles, shooting, using loud power tools and even mowing the lawn. Hearing protection can help prevent hearing loss when exposed to loud noise for prolonged periods of time. It can also prevent further damage if you have any loss of hearing, something that can exacerbate the severity of your tinnitus.
This one is easier said than done, right? It’s common to feel anxious or stressed when you first become aware of your tinnitus. Reducing stress is very important to the overall management of your condition. Implementing exercise and/or relaxation techniques into your daily life can help you feel less stressed and provide some relief from your tinnitus. Things like practicing meditation, mindfulness or taking a walk can be beneficial in reducing tinnitus-related stress.
- Drown out the tinnitus with other sounds
Those who suffer from tinnitus often say it is more noticeable or bothersome in quiet places or at night, when it is likely to be quieter. The use of soothing background sounds can help draw your attention away from your tinnitus. There are many apps that provide sounds including white noise and nature sounds, however you can also use the TV or radio.
These tips could make a difference in helping you to better manage your tinnitus. However, if you are looking for a device that can help to relieve your tinnitus in a sustainable way then perhaps you may be suitable for Lenire.
Lenire is a medical device that combines mild electrical pulses to the tongue with sound stimulation to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. It has performed well in large-scale clinical trials involving more than 500 people. In the most recent of these, 80.1% of trial participants who used Lenire as directed reported a reduction in their symptoms[ii] that was sustained for 12 months after the treatment[iii].
Lenire is available from Neuromod Medical, based at the Hermitage Medical Clinic in Dublin. Neuromod Medical can assess your tinnitus in-clinic in Dublin or remotely over a video call. Get started today by scheduling a free introductory call at:
www.neuromodmedical.com or by calling 01 253 1448
[i] Lin FR, Thorpe R, Gordon-Salant S, et al. Hearing loss prevalence and risk factors among older adults in the United States. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011;66(5):582–590.
[ii] As measured by Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI)
[iii] Conlon et al., Sci. Transl. Med. 12, eabb2830 (2020)