Tinnitus Support Group

Tinnitus, "ringing ears" or ear noise, is a phenomenon of the nervous system connected to the ear, characterised by perception of a ringing, beating or roaring sound with no external source. Tinnitus can be objective (perceived by a clinician) or subjective (perceived only by the patient).

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Thinking about my tinnitus a lot

Does thinking about my tinnitus a lot make it worse, or is it just because I am more aware of it that it just gets louder? Yesterday, my left ear somewhat seemed a bit louder than usually since I kept thinking about it, will it make it worse or not?

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

I don't think it'll make it worse in the long run, just as you think about it. For me it is very difficult to not think about it because it's so loud and invasive, front and center....I admire those that can put something like this out of their mind.
Sue
Jitssy
Jitssy

Thanks for the reply. I was freakin out the whole night wondering if I was just making it worse. I hope it doesn't get any worse. I manage at times to ignore it, but then when I start to think 'oh I don't hear it anymore', the ringing slowly comes back.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Distraction can be a key part of tinnitus. The more you ignore it, and break that emotional connection to it, the less you will notice it. This doesnt work for everyone, and even for those that it does work for, there are still times when the tinnitus can be front and center, so it can vary. But I do have times where Im driving along thinking and then realize when I was thinking intently on something that I didnt think about the tinnitus. Dont let me fail to mention also that my tinnitus is reactive, global in my head, and can be intrusive. I've just had 3 yrs. to acclimate to it, and got tired of letting tinnitus rule my life. I work hard to live in spite of it. Best WIshes, Judy
deleted_user
deleted_user

If anxiety is caused by thinking about it, then yes. I notice mine is worse when I'm thinking about it or anything else that makes me anxious.
BobsDream
BobsDream

I can double the volume of my tinnitus just by thinking about it.
JustShootMeNow
JustShootMeNow

The only time I "hear" my tinnitus is when I think about it. If I am busy with other things, I can completely forget about it. Turn on some music, not very loud, and make a very concerted effort to listen to the music rather than the T. You are probably pretty good at tuning out a lot of sounds (e.g., rowdy kids, computer hum, etc.), and you can learn to tune out the T too. It takes a lot of practice. I've had over a decade to perfect my "technique." Focusing on something other than the T is the only thing that has ever worked for me.
Jitssy
Jitssy

Thanks for the advice. I think I'm starting to tune it out. Only around the afternoon does it start to bother me and stuff. But maybe a couple of more weeks and I should be fine with it all.
neilster
neilster

Took me maybe 3 months total to reach the level of don't really give much of a flying f_ MOST of the time.....

Absolutely listening to it was the biggest mistake i used to make... here's the way i see it:

Take a microphone and a speaker, if the microphone listens to the speaker, the feedback effects causes magnified sound. Paradox is if the microphone wants to know if the speaker is on, it has to move very close to it to hear the low hiss.

I think of my brain as the microphone and the speaker as my tinnitus.

Also.. and this sort of struck me s bit later that i wish it did:

If someone whispers very very low directly into your ear, it's LOUD. Since T is in our head, listening to it closely will always make it seem LOUD. In other words, it's barely possible to focus in on something coming from the middle of our heads and not think it's.. well.. somewhat LOUD... even if it's not.

I used to close my ear and listen to it pierce into my brain.. no more... it's disturbing as hell even though it logically makes sense that if i focus on a quiet noise in my head it will appear loud as heck.

I find it somewhat difficult to believe T can go away as long as we are listening to it.. the sound itself stimulates the ears such that the feedback will reinforce it... i don't want to train my ears to listen to that.

Today for example was quiet until late at night when it started up again albeit not too bad at all....I'm sure had i spent a minute listening to it this morning, that would not have been the case.
McMurdo
McMurdo

Good advice from JustShoot about learning to ignore it and trying to distract yourself. Just as she said, it DOES take practice and for most of us, it does take a long time.

I can't say that mine fluctuates with how much attention I pay it. It BOTHERS me more the more attention I pay to it, but the volume doesn't change. If I am able to ignore it for a bit and then something makes me think of it, it's the same volume it was before I was able to ignore it for a bit. I'm always aware of what volume my T is throughout the day, though I may have periods of time when I forget about it. If the T is volume 4 or below, I can ignore it more often throughout the day than if it's volume 6 or above--at which time I'm "aware" of it all the time, even if I'm not directly listening to it all the time.

My T gets louder as the day goes on. Might start at a 4 when I wake up and end at a 6 by bedtime. I think it might have to do with my brain getting tired as the day goes on, but IDK for sure--that's just a guess. :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

Tinnitus just like most things is about perception. Most important aspect of life is probably time overall. We think about it constantly in terms of getting up, having to be somewhere, what happens if were late or dont make a deadline. Time can go painfully slow or otherworldly fast.

The more you focus on it the more youll notice it. I think about T in a intellectual sense a lot but that doesnt make it louder. If I think about it with a certain negative connotation or attribute with too much fervor then yes it can make it louder as T is a unofficial stress meter in my views. When I went to New York City a few years ago I almost never noticed my T because the sounds of the city are so filling and prominent that it drowns it out. When I get back to the hotel room to go sleep thats when its fully on then because T is the only one to keep me company then as awful as that sounds.
davehayati
davehayati

I guarantee that the more you concentrate on it, the worse it will seem. to you. Its hard to ignore, but keep yourself busy and forget about it. I believe that is really the only cure. make sure your getting good sleep. I am 53, never took a supplement or drug my whole life. Now I take 4 supplements and use sleep aid. I use over the counter sleep aid from Wall Greens. I just take one and I sleep like a baby. The better I sleep, the lower the noise, Just my two cents. Good luck.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I agree with Dave. The less you concentrate on it the better it will be. Distraction is good. Sleep is important. Best Wishes!
Jitssy
Jitssy

Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to ignore it as best as I can, and if I do notice it I keep telling myself to just calm down and try to think of something else. As for sleep, though I'm still struggling with that, but I've been drink chamomile tea before bed and keeping a fan on to distract me and get me to sleep.
JustShootMeNow
JustShootMeNow

Jitssy, I used to use a pillow speaker and listen to soft relaxing music as I fell asleep. The pillow speaker lets me hear the music, but my husband doesn't hear a thing. The pillow speaker was about $20 at Amazon.
neilster
neilster

jitssy did you noticed davehayati up there said he had never taken a supplement before, now he takes 4... well... me too.. i had never, now i take... 5 or 6 on rotation... most people who get their t to the point of not caring much do it with supplements. I even find a basical 1-tablet per day for men type thing helps the t stay down... it's weird but it's almost like t is the most sensitive 'health meter' we have.

here's one i read called HALT on things to avoid for tinnitus .
H - hungry
A - angry
L - loud
T - tired

davehayati can you tell us what you take please?