In this episode, we discuss tinnitus, what is it, and what you can do to help yourself or someone who is experiencing it.
In this episode, I mention a hearing clinic that we work with and a charity that works with those experiencing tinnitus.
You are listening to the therapy guy talking about all things mental health, informing and supporting you when you need it most. Contact us for more information or with any comments and please leave a review if you enjoy what you hear. Thanks for listening. Hello, welcome to the therapy guy. My name is Alan, and today I want to talk to you about tinnitus. tinnitus is something that I see quite regularly in my clinic is a problem that a lot of us experience in our lives. And it's something that we can struggle with from time to time. So today I'm just going to give you some brief overviews of what tinnitus is how you can help yourself what you should do if you start experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, and then so are some things I do and I have some suggestions I give to the people that I see are experiencing tinnitus and finding it quite overwhelming to live with. So first, what is tinnitus? tinnitus really is as a term for the sensation of hearing a sound without an external source. You can hear it in your head, you can hear it in your ears, that's something and it may be different people experience ringing sayings, humming, whooshing or buzzing it's lots of germs like these are used to describe it. It can be to do the bloodstream, the blood flow, switch pulses, how tinnitus, there's different forms it turns out that we should be aware of sometimes these noises can come and go. Sometimes they can be continuous. Again, certain times it can be very low, and other times it may seem overwhelming and difficult to get rid of Also, you might get one year, both years, you may get it in different parts we had maybe difficult to pinpoint. And this is part of the problem with these private reasons. A lot of people struggle is because they can't pinpoint it. It varies from person to person. And it's very difficult than for people to get this generic thing that's going to work for everybody. Experiencing tinnitus can for some people be quite debilitating for others. People use it, they adapt their lifestyle, they get used to it, they manage the symptoms through different ways. Who gets tinnitus? Well, tinnitus is really common, at least roughly around 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point. But it can be more than that because sometimes we live for Him for quite a few years before we actually report wartet or before we actually take notice of it, it's no different to most other physical illnesses. What happens is we wait until the last one we can't take it anymore before we go and see a GP or before we report that we're experiencing this. Roughly, the number at the moment is about one person in every eight is going to experience tinnitus at some point. Tennis as can be more common in people who have lost hearing, or have other ear problems. But of course, it can affect the soul. No noise is the sort of things you've been get these ringing sensations. If you go to a music event or a gig where the music's really loud, you can leave that and you can start to hear that ringing in your ears. What causes it? Well, we don't really know is the answer. We know that it's not really a disease. It's not an illness. It can change, obviously, to do with some sort of change in our life, whether it's physical or sometimes emotional things, I see a lot of stress and anxiety exacerbate the feelings and the perception of tinnitus. Whenever sounds it is, we're unsure why people end up with tinnitus. Although there's obviously some generic things where people have been working heavy machinery that normally indicates damage to their earring and that sort of thing. Which is really great. Nowadays, we have all these different mechanisms and health and safety for protecting our hearing. On a personal note, I worry about the effect of headphones or earbuds in the airport some people can have in the future especially with young children and teenagers now Listening to music, the loud music I listen to directly that and a damage like that might cause over a long period. Obviously, if there's changes to your hearing, you know, you might experience an infection, or there might be some sort of injury there to that hearing, or just in something in general, this can affect how your brain responds to your hearing to what sounds are coming through. So what can happen at times, is that the brain can sort of try to make up the sounds for what it doesn't hear. People say, you know, they can be aware of all these noises of the tinnitus after something or like a cold or the flu or ear infection. While they're experiencing that they've got this blocked feeling in their ears for some reason. They can feel that which is why some of things I'll be suggesting in a minute about what you should do when you start to experience that could help. Fortunately, for most people, they can live with it, it's as it's at a manageable level. So for most of us, we can adapt our eyes we get used to it no different to anything else. we overcome, we are as a species quite adaptable. What you really should do first is contact your GP. So contact your GP go along, get hearing test be referred to ear, nose and throat. So the NT, they can have a look, go to a local Hearing Clinic, or it's you know, the, there's lots of hearing clinics. I would personally search for one has experience in tinnitus that can check your ears for earwax. Make sure there's nothing physically wrong and now way with your ears on me way to remove nowadays safely and easily. And then obviously if you need any sort of advice and guidance, the audiologist that you're seeing there will be able to help you. I work with a clinic here in Plymouth, and they do some fantastic work and they help a lot of people with their tinnitus a by helping make sure that there's no wax in your ears by checking your hearing system and free by giving you or providing equipment that you may need, if there is an hearing issue there, and they give lots of fantastic advice and guidance. And what I'll do is I'll drop a link to that place in this little blurb underneath this podcast today. The most important thing once obviously you've ruled out any medical factors, and you had your hearing assessed is to listen to what the specialist is describing Having some people feel difficult about struggle with hearing aids, that sort of thing. It's a sign a sort of snow dealing to getting your first pair of glasses or anything else. But persevere, keep trying. You may struggle at first to wear your hearing aids because there's something new, because it's something different. But there's lots of these different modern hearing aids now, that will totally innocently help you to obviously manage your tinnitus if that is the equipment that you need. There are other things that you can get that you can maybe see how your sleep, so white noise background noise machines that go underneath your pillow, and they produce noise that the brain can focus on rather than tinnitus. Some people might, obviously play music in the background if I try to sleep as your brain and your hearing system will try to focus on that, and trying to listen in, for a lot of people, it obviously helps. It's also we might try to change habits early on. So we might avoid noisy environments, difficult or crowded environments. While Yes, I think there's a benefit in doing this, or I think we should be sensible with the level that we're listening and the level that we're exposing our hearing system to. I normally encourage people to live their lives is normally impossibly talking to somebody. Okay, it's gonna be really key here, getting the right advice, whether it's from an audiologist, from a therapist like myself, I noticed that stress and anxiety, the worry and fear of that change and what's going to happen, just exacerbate the perception of the tinnitus and the noise that you hear. They're normally a rush Go out and have a look and see if the cures. And if you look into Google, please don't do this. But if you look on Google, there's a plethora of different cures things promising to take your tinnitus away and just encourage you to basically depart with your money. At the moment, unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus. Yes thing different things, how different people, but please be really cautious about where you spend your money. Look in research, reputable, sort of websites and associations in give you independent, impartial advice on or experts on it. Step away from the Google. Obviously you've got the NHS websites. You've got the British tinnitus Association BGA their charity who work extensively do lots of good work around tinnitus. And there's lots of different advice and guidance on their, on their website. And again, what I'll do is I'll put a link in the bottom of this podcast in the blurb area. It can also be, leave us with feelings of being quite anxious, or unknown noise is perception that we can't seem to get rid of at times. Again, when I said he's talking to a therapist, who's had experience who's trained in some mindfulness techniques in relaxation techniques, they can offer advice and guidance about what they can do. We want also somebody that's had some tinnitus, retraining knowledge, so they can help people and give you advice about how you can think and manage your tinnitus in a slightly different way. The best thing we can do is try to reduce the stress and anxiety that we feel in general in our lives. I mean, the only way will not benefit us as a whole. Well, it will definitely benefit the perception and the sound of the noise that you're hearing. and allowing people to actually know that you're not alone, or other people out there experiencing the same thing. There are people out there who do understand and do have knowledge and skills to help you, obviously, using your hearing aids, if that is what you need, if you have some sort of damage or lost your hearing, and that's important. And again, what I'm encouraging you to do is build up to it. So if you struggle to wear your hearing aids all day, wear them for an hour, take them off, wear them for another hour or whatever it is, and just gradually increase the use that you can, if you struggle with putting them in for some 810 12 hours a day. I know for myself, that's what I do. I usually My hearing aids when appropriate, I put them in for a certain period of time, take them out again. And I'm mixing manage them in gradually over a period of time. It's got longer and longer and easier and easier for me to wear them. But we're all different. Obviously sleep is something that gets impacted quite a lot with tinnitus. Sleep in general affects our emotional health. Sleep Affects how we feel the next day. I mean, it's not rocket science, really, we have a good night's sleep, we feel better. We feel more energised the following day. So it can be difficult to fall asleep at times with obviously tennis. But in order to do that, we have to get our mind nobody's relapses possible. Now, there's lots of different things you can do here. There is obviously relaxation techniques as mindfulness techniques as breathing techniques. Please don't give up he says a whole range of stuff that you can try. That will have different success rates on different days depending on your circumstances etc. You can try some herbal relaxation things. One thing we don't want is for you starting to have to rely on some medication or some sort of treatment from the doctors. We need that as a last resort, and adopters will be quite resistant to giving you sleeping tablets over a longer period of time. So we have to encourage you to have some new skills for dealing with that fall asleep having some relaxation in whatever ways possible. So as I said, there's lots of different things that you can try as CBT. Again, I would look for a therapist who's trained and helpful has knowledge in tinnitus. Mindfulness techniques should be useful to us all at different times. Anyway. tinnitus, retraining therapy. So it's a structured way to managing or tinnitus. And it gives you different ways of dealing with things. I use lots of different techniques for the people that I see. And it has to vary. It has to be adaptable to each person, and what their experience and what they feel is our situation at that time. Obviously, taking care of your hearing, getting regular checks, all that thing should be something that we should all be doing, really. We do quite often go for dental checkups for the eyesight. When do we ever pay attention to our hearing? If you can encourage and get used to going having your hearing checked regularly? That'd be great, too. What I really want to get through in this podcast is people struggle, but lots of people manage lots of people have can Top their lifestyle to live in internet us. There's lots of help and support there for you. Don't give up can be easy to get down despondent. If something doesn't work, look for and get the expert advice that you need to help with your tinnitus to help with your situation. Whether it's from a hearing loss, and you need equipment and advice around that. Seek a local audiologist, someone who's got the expertise and knowledge to help you if you're suffering from stress and anxiety, and seek a therapist that has experience again, to support you in the way that you need. If you need any advice, if you do need guidance, please don't hesitate to contact me as always. I'm here to answer any questions in the best possible way. And I know the colleagues that I work with in a fantastic organisation Just as I said about here and put off here more really helpful with your, some your questions. And I'm sure that if I haven't gotten the answers, I will get the information you need from him to help you in whatever way that we both can. For now, I want you to stay safe. Go well Look after yourselves. And please don't hesitate to come back and listen to another podcast. Thanks for listening today. It's B. Allen sign off. It's a therapy guy for today. Bye for now. Thanks for listening to the therapy guy. Please don't forget to tell other people about our great podcasts and counselling for all your mental health and well being needs. Contact us today for the support you need. Find us at horizon plymouth.co.uk Transcribed by https://otter.ai