Are you suffering from ringing in your ears? Often called tinnitus, and sometimes sounding like a roaring, buzzing, clicking, or hissing sound, this condition isn’t normally a major threat to your health. Instead, it’s primarily a psychological danger that can lead to major complications, such as depression and anxiety.
In some cases, Columbia TMJ dentist Dr. Adam Hahn can treat ringing in your ears. However, in other cases, it’s important to find psychological strategies that help you cope with the sound.
Can TMJ Treatment Cure Ringing in Your Ears?
Perhaps one in 10 people suffer from ringing in their ears. Unfortunately, most of those cases might not be treatable. You might talk to a doctor, then try numerous potential remedies to no avail. If ringing in your ears isn’t treatable, you will simply have to learn to cope with it.
However, you shouldn’t give up too soon. Ringing in your ears related to temporomandibular joint disorders (called TMJ or TMD) is one of the types where treatment can reduce or eliminate the sound so that you can enjoy silence again. Ear symptoms are common in TMJ, with perhaps 80-90% of people with the condition developing this symptom.
If at least one of the following is true, TMJ might be responsible for ringing in your ears:
- Heavy jaw activity makes ringing in your ear worse
- Moving your jaw changes the pitch, volume, or type of sound you hear
- You have one or more other TMJ symptoms
If you suspect TMJ might be behind ringing in your ears, contact Columbia TMJ dentist Dr. Hahn for an evaluation. This is worth trying even if an ENT tells you ringing in your ears is untreatable. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion from someone who understands TMJ. They can help you understand if TMJ treatment can reduce or eliminate ringing in your ears.
Coping Strategies for Dealing with Ringing in Your Ears
Unfortunately, as we noted above, most cases of ringing in your ears are untreatable. In addition to the potential disability that comes from the constant sound you hear, you might experience significant psychological problems. There are strategies, though, that can reduce the psychological impact of ringing in your ears.
Research has shown that your mental state influences the ringing in your ears. The worse your stress, the worse the sounds you hear. Figuring out ways to relax can help reduce the severity of ringing in your ears.
There are many different relaxation techniques that you can try. These are typically noninvasive and low-risk, so feel free to try multiple techniques until you find one that works for you.
Of course, getting yourself to relax in the face of stress is often easier said than done. If you can’t find relaxation techniques that are effective, counseling or group therapy may help you find the techniques that work for you.
Let Yourself Grieve What You’ve Lost
Many people don’t realize that grief is a normal response to ringing in your ears. After all, you’ve lost a lot. You’ve lost your silence. You’ve lost control over the sounds you hear, and you may have lost your peace of mind. You may have lost your enjoyment of music, and you might have lost your ability to do certain jobs.
Because so many of these things are as invisible to others as the ringing in your ears is inaudible, there’s a tendency to discredit them as not real losses. Acknowledging these true losses can reduce your feelings of depression and anxiety. That will diminish the psychological impact of ringing in your ears.
Don’t Blame Yourself for Ringing in Your Ears
It’s natural to want to try to understand why you developed ringing in your ears. It’s not always clear what’s the true cause — and there may not be a good explanation. However, people tend to gravitate toward things they did that might have led to ringing in their ears. Once they grab onto this explanation, they can get stuck in a cycle of self-blame.
Self-blame is unfortunately common when people develop ringing in their ears. The self-blame creates a recurring pattern that leads to greater depression and anxiety. Whether or not you had a role in developing ringing in your ears, it’s important not to blame yourself. There is no benefit to it, and it just makes you feel worse.
Learn to Accept Ringing in Your Ears
You’ve done everything you can to change the ringing in your ears. If you can’t change it, learning to accept it is critical to your psychological well-being.
The more you fight against ringing in your ears, the more you will be aware of the sound, and the worse you will feel. Studies show that learning to accept ringing in your ears makes the sound seem less loud and severe. In addition, it can reduce your levels of anxiety and depression.
Let Yourself Seek Psychological Help
Finally, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to deal with ringing in your ears on your own. You were willing to seek help treating the ringing in your ears. Why shouldn’t you seek help to deal with it if it turns out that you can’t treat it?
Psychological help can take many forms, from visiting a therapist to getting group therapy to just being in a support group with other people dealing with ringing in their ears. Find a form of help that works for you.
Try TMJ Treatment in Columbia, SC
Before you start looking for coping strategies for ringing in your ears, you should make sure that treatment isn’t an option. If you haven’t yet, make an appointment with Columbia TMJ dentist Dr. Adam Hahn today. He can tell if ringing in your ears is a treatable form linked to TMJ.
Please call (803) 781-9090 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC, near Irmo.