One recent study found that hearing loss can worsen tinnitus. Are you experiencing tinnitus? Constant ringing in your ears is driving you crazy? This buzzing or ringing sound in your ear can interfere with your daily life, with your work, and with your sleep.
Does it sound like hearing loss is constantly buzzing, humming, whistling, or beeping in your ear? Then you know: Tinnitus has spread to your ear.
We want to stop this process so that tinnitus no longer dominates your life!
Studies Show that Hearing Loss Can Worsen Tinnitus
Hearing loss is often a clear component of tinnitus and often its direct cause.
In most cases, the damage is caused by noise or hearing loss. As a rule, inner and outer hair cells are also affected. The inner hair cells can be damaged in such a way that they cannot react adequately to a sound stimulus, but due to the damage, the corresponding “stimulus” (ion) channels are “torn open” in such a way that so-called leakage currents flow continuously.
This nerve impulse, which can perhaps be compared to a kind of “short circuit”, is perceived as a sound equivalent, as tinnitus, by the cerebrum.
How Hearing Loss Affects Tinnitus
Many relationships between hearing loss and tinnitus have not been fully elucidated even today. In a study of inpatient therapy in patients with chronic complex tinnitus, in audiological diagnostics (hearing tests) 5% of the patients had “normal hearing on both sides”, 6% unilateral, and 89% even with bilateral “hearing deficits”.
However, it is also clear that in both studies a predominant number of patients did not primarily suffer from the disability “hearing loss”, but mostly excluded from the symptom “tinnitus”.
The scientifically interesting question is whether tinnitus is even possible without a hearing impairment, even if minimal, and whether it can be concluded that the inner ear damage is the trigger for the tinnitus? Or does hearing loss play a role in the development of tinnitus only when the effects are clinical and noticeable to the patient? Beyond that, are there specific effects of hearing loss on tinnitus?
Especially in recent years, the efforts of medical societies, dedicated physicians and therapists, and self-help organizations in the United States have significantly increased knowledge about the causes of tinnitus and hearing loss.
It has been known for a long time that up to 80% of those affected complain of tinnitus, which is often chronic when hearing loss has existed for a long time.
Conversely, it is clear that neither acute nor chronic tinnitus can be the cause of hearing loss.
Coping with Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Physical relaxation techniques
You may not be able to control tinnitus, but relaxation techniques can make them less stressful.
When trying to deal with tinnitus and hearing loss at the same time, relaxation techniques are an important piece of the puzzle.
During peaks or other difficult times of tinnitus, you probably won’t be able to change the volume, but you can still make yourself more relaxed and comfortable.
One of the best things you can do is relax physically. Stress often results in aches, tension, and pain in our bodies, for the simple reason that adrenaline and other stress hormones cause muscle tension.
You can reduce your anxiety and calm yourself mentally by calming yourself down physically. The connection between body and mind is very real, but it is only evident in certain situations.
For example, if you have ever had a professional massage, you have experienced it. If the mind-body connection weren’t real, you wouldn’t feel mentally relaxed after a great massage. And yet, most people feel amazingly well, both mentally and physically, after a massage.
The more you try to relax physically, the calmer you will feel and the better you can cope with tinnitus.
Take a hot bath
Hot water relieves muscle tension, it’s that easy. Saunas and steam rooms are also very effective. Bonus points for adding a secondary distraction, like lighting a soothing scented candle, reading a good book, or both.
Treat yourself to a massage
Professional massages are a fantastic way to reduce stress and deal with tinnitus, but they’re expensive and not something you can do on the fly. Instead, you can perform trigger point massage (also known as myofascial release) on yourself with a lacrosse ball or foam roller.
Breathing exercise 4-7-8
Breathing techniques are an effective way to quickly reduce anxiety and stress in a variety of difficult situations. There are many, but when it comes to dealing with tinnitus, a few features are of utmost importance: it has to be something that you can practice quickly, anywhere, anytime. when, and who should work immediately.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique can be done anywhere, takes only 60-90 seconds, and is very effective in triggering a powerful relaxation response, especially after practicing it several times.
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath.
- Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Hearing Aids Treat Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
With the help of hearing aids, people with hearing loss may be able to hear missing sounds. This can effectively mask the tinnitus noise and remove the focus. If you can hear everything that is going on around you, this can often lead to relief from the internal tinnitus noise.
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