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Tinnitus can be life-changing - for the better!

medium_Audrey.jpgThe fact that I make the statement that "tinnitus can be life changing" may be obvious - however, the life change can be for the better if you allow it to be. Whilst recently recuperating from my hip replacement, I have been reading lots of material I have collected over the years and reflecting on my own experiences of tinnitus. Within a lifetime, we all have to learn to adapt to change; nothing remains the same - this is inevitable. However, when the change is unexpected, it comes as a shock, especially if it takes away from us something that we have always taken for granted - "the choice to be quiet". This in turn affects our sense of control and undermines our confidence as we mourn our loss of peace and quiet.

Many people go through various stages as they travel the journey to acceptance of tinnitus. Trying to find a cure, a way of coping with the noise and the need for reassurance that they are not alone. This is undoubtedly the route that most people take - we want to know the answers so that we can start to make some changes. At this stage overthinking can distort our perception of tinnitus. Worries circle round our head, invading our thoughts, affecting our concentration and making us feel depressed. However, overthinking prevents us reaching the very resource that could help improve the situation. Every time change is forced upon us, we need to make changes in ourselves, don't fight it or try to run away from it, but acknowledge it and learn from it.

When we have been reassured that tinnitus is not life threatening (and I would urge everyone who hasn't been to see their doctor to do so for a proper diagnosis) then we can get on with acknowledging it; not trying to escape from it. Don't let tinnitus allow you to drift from the path of where you want to be. I can empathise with everyone who experiences tinnitus because I have been down the same route, searching for the answers. Until the day arrived when I decided it was time to accept it and get on with my life. This was a real turning point and one which changed my life for the better.

For those who may still be going through this time of uncertainty, try to open up your mind to new ideas. When we have a setback we lose our sense of perspective, it is important to get this back again; be good to yourself, don't try to push yourself too hard. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to do something that will help you to regain control again. The most important thing is not to let tinnitus control you - do all the things you have always enjoyed (it won't interfere with this unless you allow it to do so by giving it attention). Tinnitus is very attention seeking but once you have learned to ignore it, you will find that it will diminish. Your brain has the ability to ignore it in the same way that it can learn to ignore anything that is a nuisance.

Our Self-Help Fact Sheets will help you to make the changes that will enable you to manage your tinnitus. You may wonder why I said the life change can be for the better. No longer will you take things for granted; during your journey you will awaken all your senses and be alert to everything around you, rather than concentrating on what is within - and this is a much better place to be. For me, I decided I would put my tinnitus to good use and help other people along the road to success. I hope I have achieved that!