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Tinnitus: Supporting a Loved One

Tinnitus affects millions of Americans. Tinnitus is a constant ringing, buzzing or even swooshing noise that only the person suffering from Tinnitus can hear. Symptoms can be moderate to severe and periodic or chronic.

Imagine trying to concentrate, speak or sleep when you are bombarded by a constant noise. The lack of quiet can impact your loved one’s ability to function and frustration and even depression can build. When a loved one has Tinnitus, you want to be there to support, but it can be difficult to know how. Here are some tips:

  • Be patient. Treating Tinnitus is not like getting a shot or fixing a broken bone. Recovery may have no timeline so take it one day at a time
  • Celebrate the small things. Improvements are likely to come in small doses so be sure to take time to celebrate and accentuate the positive results
  • Listen. Sometimes your loved one may just want someone to listen. Set time aside for this
  • Gain knowledge. Educate yourself about Tinnitus and its impacts
  • Be supportive. Offer to attend a follow up appointment to take notes to help your loved one process all the new information
  • Encourage activity. Tinnitus symptoms can interfere with even the smallest daily activities, which leads to frustration and can cause your loved one to give up on regular daily activities. Don’t let that happen and find ways to coax them off the couch

Finally, ask your loved one how you can help. He or she is the one seeking treatment and coming to terms with Tinnitus and will have unique needs.

People suffering from Tinnitus should seek help from a hearing care professional. While there are no cures, new hearing aid technology and other options can provide relief. Encourage your loved one to seek out help from a professional right away.