Have you noticed that the ringing in your ears worsens every so often? It may feel random and completely out of your control, and that can be very frustrating. So, what’s going on, and how do you manage your tinnitus symptoms during a spike?
What is a Tinnitus Spike?
A spike is defined as an increase in the volume, pitch or intensity of the ringing in your ears. It may also be identified as a change in the perceived sound. For example, you may notice that the ringing sounds more like buzzing or whooshing during a tinnitus spike.
What Causes It?
There are many things that can lead to a spike. Anything that engages the fight or flight response in your sympathetic nervous system will likely affect your tinnitus.
The most common things that trigger tinnitus spikes are stress and lack of sleep.
- A diet high in sodium, sugar or caffeine
- An increase in alcohol or nicotine consumption
- Food sensitivities
- Vitamins and supplements
- Anxiety or depression
- Recreational drug use
- A change in the weather or barometric pressure
- Exposure to loud noise
- Exposure to trigger noises (not necessarily loud)
How Do I Cope with a Tinnitus Spike?
One of the most important steps in effectively managing your tinnitus is to track your daily symptoms. Keeping a written or digital log of your condition will help you identify patterns and possible triggers during a spike.
It may be difficult to determine the cause in the heat of the moment, so being proactive in tracking your symptoms can help you define and manage triggers.
It’s also important to learn to differentiate the things you can and can’t control. For instance, you can’t control the volume of the ringing in your ears or how long an episode will last. Trying to do so will only cause you more anxiety.
Here are some things you can control to help you cope with a tinnitus spike:
- Sleep habits: Go to bed and wake up at a consistent times.
- Relaxation: Meditation, breathing exercises, reading and journaling are good ways to focus your mind during a spike in your symptoms.
- Therapy: Discussing the emotional effects of your condition can ease the emotional burden. Therapists can also recommend coping strategies that help ease discomfort.
- Hearing aids: Some hearing aids have tinnitus masking programs designed to cover the ringing in your ears with soothing sounds.
Are you struggling with tinnitus? Hearing Associates offers comprehensive hearing tests and hearing devices to identify and ease your symptoms. Call 888.760.2032 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.