Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of a sound in the absence of an external sound source.  More than 50 million Americans experience tinnitus.  Tinnitus is not an isolated condition.  Tinnitus is a symptom of other conditions such as hearing loss, cervical spine injury, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), medication side effects, just to name a few.  Suffering from tinnitus can cause anxiety, stress, depression, sense of hopelessness, and sleep deprivation.

Tinnitus is an invisible condition and difficult to completely understand if you have never experienced it yourself.  Try not to get frustrated with your loved one.  Focus on communication so you can better understand their thoughts and feelings.  Being empathetic and understanding tinnitus from their perspective can help you to understand what they are experiencing.  It is important to help promote a source of calm and comfort.

Coping with tinnitus can be very overwhelming and your loved one may have a difficult time motivating themselves to focus on other activities.  Help guide them toward activities they enjoy and can provide mental and physical relaxation.  This can also provide a distraction to take their mind off the tinnitus.  Activities could include a hobby, taking a walk, yoga, message, deep breathing exercises, word puzzles, music, etc.  Remember, background noise is always helpful to reduce the noticeability of tinnitus and provide relief in any given environment.  This is especially helpful in the sleeping environment when it is generally very quiet.  This could include a fan, sound of nature, or broadband noise.

You may not be able to resolve the emotional impact from tinnitus; however, you can help facilitate coping strategies and motivate them throughout the process.   Help encourage them to be evaluated and learn what options are available.  Lemme Audiology’s Tinnitus Management Program is designed to provide a comprehensive approach to assist those who suffer with tinnitus find relief. We do this with sufficiently scientifically validated effective healthcare and management that is safe for tinnitus.

Treatment is entirely possible. Call Lemme Audiology Associates at (814) 941-7770 to learn more about our Tinnitus Management Program.

Amy Greer, Au.D.

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