TinuCare Day 4

Sleeping with tinnitus

Sleeping with tinnitus

Sleeping with Tinnitus

Unfortunaly there is no magic cure in sleeping with tinnitus. Tinnitus is more present while trying to fall asleep due to 3 factors:

  • Silence: Most people sleep in a quiet bedroom, and therefore the silence makes the tinnitus worse
  • Fatigue: Before going to sleep we are of course tired. Togheter with stress, fatigue is one of the main drivers of tinnitus
  • Focus: It's easy to focus on the tinnitus because there is no other distraction.

But there sure is a way of learning to sleep with tinnitus. A lot of people with tinnitus have no problem sleeping at all. 

The best way is to try and avoid the silence. That is not always possible if you sleep with a partner who wants silence when sleeping. If that is the case, it is really important for you mental health to talk to your partner, or at least sleep apart for a period of time.

You can avoid the silence with the TuniCare tinnitus mask music. Put the music on a low volume (just enough to kill the silence), and focus on the music. That way you will avoid the silence and the focus problem. You can of course listen to any type of music, but make sure the music doesn't distract you from falling asleep.

What is also important is that you build a healthy sleeping habbit. On the next pages we will give you some useful tips that helped a lot of our patients to fall asleep again.

 

Sleeping tips part 1

1. Maintain a regular sleep pattern

During the week go to bed at fixed intervals so your internal clock has a fixed routine. This will make your body more calm. The weekend often causes unexpected events, such as parties and trips. It will be more difficult to take your rest at regular intervals during those periods.

2. No TV or phone

Make sure that when you are in bed, you can not be distracted by television or telephones. If you watch TV fwhile lying in bed, then your brain is constantly busy processing all this information. This again can make sure that your brain is still active if you want to actually go to sleep.

This is not the case for everyone. Some people tend to fall asleep while others can't sleep after watching TV. So it's just figuring out what works best for you, but it will eventually reduce your stress.

3. Focus on your breathing

Remember your breathing. If you can not sleep and are focused too much on your tinnitus, try focussing on your breathing instead. Follow your breathing when breathing in and out, and if your thoughts go back to your tinnitus, go back to your breathing. You will notice that you will become calmer and that falling asleep is much easier.

Sleeping tips part 2

4. Do not eat before you go to sleep

Do not eat meals or snacks three hours before bedtime. If you are eating before bedtime, your body has to digest all of this, which in turn has the effect that you can sleep less well.

5. Do not exercise three hours before you go to sleep

It's better to not sport three hours before bedtime. After exercise you might have additional new energy so you can not sleep well. Relaxating exersices on the other hand are very good to do before going to sleep.

6. Do not drink alcohol 

If you do so, you might fall better to sleep, but after a few hours you'll be awake again. Also the quality of you sleep is poor with alcohom. Better is a glass of warm milk .

Sleeping tips part 3

7. No coffee in the evening

Coffee contains caffeine which makes you active and therfore it will be more difficult to fall asleep . Again this depends from person to person. Some might have more problems with it than others.

8. Take a bath just before bedtime

This will relax your mind and your body. But some nice relaxing background music on as well. That will put you in the right state of mind before going to sleep

9. Provide a well darkened room

A natural way of improving the quality of your sleep and to address any sleep disorders,  is Melatonin . Melatonin is a hormone which is naturally produced by the body and is created under the influence of darkness, which is released in the course of the night .

The older you get, the less Melatonin your body produces. Many people have sleep disorders, because they have a deficiency of endogenous Melatonin. A well-darkened room will help to sleep better and stimulate your melatonin.

Sleeping tips part 4

 

10. Sleep on a good mattress and slatted

Even if you don't have back pain the morning after, this does not mean that you have a good slats and mattress . Try to find out if you prefers need to sleep on a soft or firm mattress. A mattress will last approximately 10 years. Is your mattress older, then you should buy a new one. You often have neck or back pain , you will also benefit from a good pillow .

11. Provide fresh air in your bedroom

Put your window open during daytime so that the room is well ventilated when you go to sleep at night. Who lives in a peaceful environment can leave the window open at night. this will also help you masking the silence. The ideal bedroom temperature is 18 degrees Celsius. 

2 breathing exercises for tinnitus relief

Relaxation

It is important when you are facing a moment when your tinnitus annoys you too much, you take the time to relax. The best way to calm down immediately is by doing breathing exercises.

Well have a look at 2 powerful breathing exercises you can do when your tinnitus is giving you stress or anxiety.

Nadi Shodhana

1. Nadi Shodhana

Are you stressed due to your tinnitus and want some more rest and relaxation? This is a Yoga breathing exercises that you should definitely try.

Nadi Shodhana is a simple but very effective way to soothe both body and mind. This yoga breathing exercise also works well if you have trouble sleeping.

So you enter Nadi Shodhana :

  • Make sure you come sit easily without tension in the body. This can be in the lotus position, sitting cross-legged or just a chair.
  • Now place your right thumb on your right nostril and breathe deeply through your left nostril. closes you off your left nostril with your ring finger after inhalation (put your index and middle finger on the point between your eyebrows).
  • Now liberated the right nostril and exhale again via this nostril. After you have completely exhaled, again you breathe in through your right nostril. If you inhale completely, closes off the right nostril with your thumb.
  • Then free left nostril and breathe out again.
  • This will take you a few minutes. Remember that the nostril through which you breathe in, is also the nostril through which you breathe out again.

Ujjayi Yoga breathing


2. Ujjayi Yoga breathing

One of the other Yoga breathing exercises that I want to explain in this article is the Ujjayi Yoga breathing.

Ujjayi has both an energizing and calming effect on body and mind.

Feed him as follows:

  • Breathe in through the mouth.
  • Breathe out slowly and try to stretch your windpipe  into your throat very lightly. For example like you want to blow clouds in the cold air. If it is done good then it creates a sound to your breath that sounds like the ocean.
  • Do the same now breathing in. So both when you inhalation and you exhalation now you can hear this sound.
  • As this works well and you feel comfortable, you may close the mouth and apply the same way of breathing through the nose. Again, you still hear this sound.
Note: Practice the Ujjayi Yoga breathing exercises not while doing the Nadi Shodhana.

Understanding Hyperacusis

Introduction

For good hearing people already certain sounds can be annoying, for example the sound of a truck that comes to a halt with screeching brakes, a saw or a door being shut hard.

But people with hyperacusis on the other hand experience many more sounds too strong and unpleasant because their tolerance to noise is decreased alarmingly.

These people are often intolerable for very ordinary sounds. Think of running water, a toilet that permeates, the clatter of dishes, screaming kids, the music in the waiting room of the doctor etc. For some people this kind of sounds even hurt the ears . 

People with tinnitus are more likely to have hyperacusis as well. 

Dynamic range

Dynamic range

The ears of people with hyperacusis have lost their so-called "dynamic range" .

This is the ability of our ears to rapidly adapt to changing volume levels. This loss will be make all everyday noises perceived as painfully loud and unbearable. Healthy ears can process sound from the hearing threshold at 0 dB ( barely audible ) until the pain threshold of 130 dBA.

With the hearing disorder " recruitment" the hearing threshold is much higher (eg . At 30 dBA) and the pain threshold is much lower (eg . At 100 dbA ) . It is said that the dynamic range is greatly diminished. This means that these people can understand very badly in a noisy environment and also have a lot of problems with  ordinary sounds.

Social impacts

Social impacts

Hyperacusis is not a life threatening condition but depending on the severity it can be quite traumatic : quite frightening , especially at the beginning and very difficult to cope with it at work and at home. At the social level the person's capabilities will greatly constrain and change his or her life drastically.

Causes

Causes

On the causes of hyperacusis still little is known . It could be caused by the following:

  • Exposure , past and present , to loud noise at work
  • Exposure to (too) loud music
  • Head injury , including " whiplash "
  • Use of certain medications
  • Careless syringing of the ear
  • A tumor in the head
  • Problems with the temporomandibular joint
  • Lyme disease ( Lyme disease) .

Further, it may be an accompanying symptom in e.g .:

  • Migraine
  • Ménière's Disease
  • William's Syndrome ( delayed development )
  • Bell's Palsy (acute paralysis of the facial nerve )
  • Tay-Sachs disease (a form of dementia )
  • Fibromyalgia ( chronic muscle pain)
  • Autism . According to US data, 40% of people with autistic disorder are hypersensitivity to loud sounds. Some parents of crying babies suspect their child is extra sensitive to sounds, sometimes in combination with other factors .

What is going on?

What is going on?

Much is not yet clear, but the failure could be sought in the so-called  "efferent" part of the auditory nerve. This regulates or inhibits the perception of incoming sound stimuli.

Probably we are dealing with a combination of mutually reinforcing factors. Science is at this point still not far enough to give unambiguous instructions . There is still too little known about how our brains process sound.

The mechanism in the cochlea that captures sound, revenue and forward them to the brains is microscopically small and virtually inaccessible to empirical research. That people get a proper diagnosis is the exception rather than the rule. It is hoped that this practice will change someday.

Living with Hyperacusis

What can alleviate the suffering ?

Hyperacusis is currently not treatable. Contacts with peers, understanding the disease and appropriate living conditions can help alleviate the suffering. Understanding of your problems of roommates, family and friends is essential, as is the correct setting of the one who has to deal with hyperacusis .

Doctors and specialists can contribute by identifying the disease earlier and to recognize it as a live changing sympton for the patient. Doctors have no therapies or treatment at their disposal. However, a doctor may give correct information and advice to both patient and their surroundings in contributing to an improved well-being for all those affected by the disorder hyperacusis .

Guidelines and tips for dealing with hyperacusis

  • Always let your ears / hearing investigate medical and audiological for any abnormalities.
  • Make it as pleasant as possible every day. Do what is comfortable and avoid what hurts your ear, if you have the choice.
  • Make sure you have a (small) room where it's quiet.
  • Home: Make clear agreements with your roommates about how certain problems can be solved. Get a  third party if necessary who understands what the problem is.
  • At work: Provide understanding to others and get plenty of relaxation for yourself. Even if it takes you a couple of steps on the social ladder (how difficult in practice that will be!).
  • Social contacts: Maybe you should drop a part of it? You can also think of what you can do together WELL instead of those things that you can not. For example, do not make music togheter but revoke nature.
  • If you are going to visiting a museum for example and the sound is too much for you, ask if you can retire somewhere for a while where it is quiet.
  • Ask that can celebrate someone's birthday a few days earlier or later, so at a time when it is not crowded or noisy.
  • For hobbies that make too much noise, you can start looking for alternatives.
  • Use ear protection before you ask someone to make less noise. After all it is your handicap first so you should try to make it work. 
  • Know that you are not the only one who suffers from a disability.
  • Also know that not only yourself are suffering from your handicap: even the people who are close to you will have to face difficulties. Understand those people and do not expect more from them than what is reasonable and necessary.

Dealing with people who have hyperacusis

Tips for dealing with people who have hyperacusis

  • In general do not talk too loud, but calm and clear.
  • Do not talk over each other .
  • Try to avoid laughter .
  • If a phone call causes problems, there are alternatives: write letters, faxing, email or chat (Internet).
  • Try to limit sounds of crockery and cutlery.
  • Ask if there are things that you can do toreduce the burden of hyperacusis .

WHEN visiting someone with hyperacusis

  • Do not take noisy children, barking/restless dogs with you.
  • Do not come with heels that make loud clack when visiting .

Is it difficult to take account of these matters? Make sure the visit is not too long.

Visit of a person with hyperacusis

  • Do not put loud music music.
  • Do not run machinery in the background ( washing machine and dishwasher ) .
  • Try one to have a small, quiet room where those with hyperacusis can recuperate his ears in silence.

Tinnitus Sound Therapy

Introduction

Tinnitus Sound Therapy

One of the best known treatment plans for tinnitus is sound therapy. By offering additional sounds for the ears to focus on, your tinnitus will become less noticeable. The purpose of this type of tinnitus management is to help you to focus less on the tinnitus and thereby provide relief.

The ultimate goal is to teach your brains tinnitus sound to reclassify as an unimportant sound that merges with the background. The effect of sound therapy can be explained by the following visual analogy: Tinnitus is presented as the brightness of stars in a night sky. By the contrast between the shining star and the dark background , the brightest starts will receive the whole focus, so that it can be difficult to ignore. The same stars in daylight merges with the bright background, and is difficult to observe , although it still is there.