Tinnitus is a hearing defect which affects approximately 20 percent of Americans today. Consisting of continuous internal noises not originating in one’s environment, the clicking, buzzing, and roaring of tinnitus impacts mental health and for many sufferers, sleep. Here, we have provided tips for sleeping better with tinnitus.
Tip #1 Know About Your Tinnitus Diagnosis
For many people with tinnitus, the continual noise may feel confusing and uncomfortable. However, consultation with an expert otolaryngologist can pinpoint possible causes and help with dealing with the unwanted noise. Your ENT doctor will look at your medical and medication history and do an auditory evaluation (hearing test) and physical examination.
For many people, tinnitus stems from:
- Medications which are ototoxic, or damaging to the hearing apparatus
- Circulatory problems
- Injury to the ear
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) which affects the jaw
- Meniere’s disease, an autoimmune problem which changes hearing and balance
- Hearing loss
For other patients, their tinnitus symptoms have no identifiable cause whatsoever. However, the disturbance tinnitus causes to overall well-being is very real, impacting concentration and the ability to get to sleep and attain quality rest on a consistent basis.
So, communicate honestly and specifically with your ear, nose, throat specialist about your symptoms and how they affect you. Armed with this important information and results from in-office tests, you and your otolaryngologist can work out ways to manage your tinnitus.
Tip #2 Establish a Regular Sleep Routine
Most everyone–whether they have tinnitus or not–can benefit from good sleep hygiene to foster improved rest on a consistent basis. Good sleep hygiene means:
- Having a set bedtime and aiming for eight hours of sleep nightly
- Shutting off all electronic screens one to two hours before bedtime
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening hours
- Darkening the bedroom to avoid all ambient light
- Keeping the bedroom temperature cool
Tip #3 Use Masking Devices
Masking devices are white noise machines or phone apps set by the bedside. They generate relaxing and tinnitus-blocking sounds, such as falling rain or sea waves. Even the sound of your furnace, air conditioner, or room air purifier can help cancel out tinnitus or make it far less disturbing to your mind and to your sleep.
Tip #4 Use Tinnitus Therapies
Your otolaryngologist, audiologist or other healthcare provider can recommend ways to reduce day to day stress and anxiety, both major contributors–and side effects–of tinnitus. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, helps redirect unhealthy thoughts and feelings, Tinnitus retraining therapy, or TRT, involves wearing a noise suppressing device–often a hearing aid or other device–in the affected ear and also learning ways to distract oneself from the internal noise.
Lastly, some people benefit from medications to treat anxiety and depression which can result from tinnitus. When tinnitus sufferers can
control these mental health side effects, sleep disturbances can occur less and less.
Tinnitus And Sleep Disturbance Treatments in Georgetown, TX
At Georgetown ENT, Dr. Scott William Franklin brings his experience and expertise in otolaryngology and sleep medicine to people who struggle to sleep due to tinnitus. Dr. Franklin will perform a complete physical assessment and discuss strategies to improve your tinnitus symptoms and give you the relief you need–both during the day and as you sleep at night.
Please call our Georgetown office today to arrange your in-person consultation with Dr. Franklin at (512) 869-0604. You may also request your informative visit here. We look forward to helping you improve your health, wellness, and quality sleep.