RE: Tinnitus

Jen Smith Smith, modified 19 Days ago.

Tinnitus

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/22/21 Recent Posts
I started getting tinnitus a month ago, a steady high pitch that's really interfering with my sleep.  I'm not sure if it's connected to meditation, but it might be.  How can I work with it through meditation to relieve it and get a better sleep?  
George S, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 1622 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Hi Jen, welcome to DhO!

The short answer is that the best thing you can do is learn to accept it, which does actually make a world of difference. My tinnitus started when I was 20 and I was very distressed by it for several years (how am I ever going to sleep?) Eventually I got used to it and now it never bothers me, even although it's always there if I care to check. Sometimes I even use it as a cool meditation object! In some tradition's it's considered to be a blessing, a kind of "divine music". If you are really distressed by it then I can recommend the book "Rewiring Tinnitus" by Glen Schweitzer. And carry ear plugs with you in case you are in loud places, as that can cause it to spike.

Best wishes 
George 
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Chris Marti, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Jen,

Tinnitus often has physical causes that can be dealt with. I would not accept tinnitus as a permanent condition without getting a competent medical diagnosis. Things like jaw misalignment, ear canal infections and blockages (earwax), blood vessel conditions, and other things can cause tinnitus.
George S, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 1622 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Quite right, I should have started with that. Hopefully there is a simple physical cause & solution. Mine appeared to be caused by loud music, but awareness is a big factor and that's something that is obviously turned up in meditation. I had a bunch of tests and eventually ended up with a top specialist who essentially told me 'well there are all sorts of things we could try, but my advice is to learn to live with it if you possibly can. Turning it into a problem to be solved usually makes it seem like a worse problem, and the results are mostly unsatisfactory!' Mind you, that was in the UK on the National Health Service, whereas in a private health system there is probably more incentive to get you to try something.
Jen S, modified 17 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks so much for your responses!  I'm doing lots of research, trying supplements, watching my diet ect. and waiting on a referral to an ENT.  I'm not sure why it started.  Good to know there are others here who deal with it too, and are now used to it and still progressing with their meditations emoticon   Meditation feels tough/a bit anxiety provoking right now in that I'm extra aware of the tinnitus when everything else is quiet and still.  I can see how it could help me acclimatize in the longer-run.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 5375 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yeah, I would check whether it is in fact tinnitus or an energetic manifestation, because the former might need medical attention whereas the latter is something to work with in the practice. 

​​​​​​​Is it just the sound or is it accompanied with other features? 
Jen S, modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/22/21 Recent Posts
Just sound.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 5375 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Just sound alone sounds less like an energetic manifestation to me, but that's just based on my own experience which isn't usually that typical. If you have access to a medical professional who is willing to check it out, that might be a good idea just in case. Doctors where I live would just be annoyed if I tried to have them check out even a fraction of what people suggest should be checked out, so I don't take it for granted that care is available. If there is no help available, or while waiting for an appointment, it might be helpful to listen either for the gaps in the tone's vibrations (impermanence; vipassana) or for the silence/stillness that is always there behind or at the centre of the tone (tuning into the ground of being), or to just let the sound flow through you without resistance (equanimity). 
Jen S, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/22/21 Recent Posts
Thanks!  I wasn't sure what the best category would be to put the question under emoticon
I do have access to good healthcare, and am on a waitlist to see an ENT... sounds like they have pretty full schedules at the moment.   
George S, modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 1622 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
From Rewiring Tinnitus: How I Finally Found Relief From the Ringing in My Ears by Glenn Schweitzer

So now we have two pieces of the puzzle: memory and meaning. When a sound is important enough or carries enough of an emotional impact, we assign meaning to it and react accordingly. The problem is, if our reaction to a sound is consistent, over time it becomes an automatic response that activates both the limbic system, triggering an emotional response, and the autonomic nervous system, causing a physical response in the body. Very quickly a sound can become so closely intertwined with a specific response that, when we hear it, we react automatically without thinking at all.

It’s why a mother will be jolted awake by the sound of her crying baby, even though she may have slept through a noisy storm. It’s why the growl of a tiger instantly triggers the fight or flight response, and why we will suddenly jump to attention at the sound of our name heard softly across a crowded room.

It's also why tinnitus can become such a problem: When it is perceived as an annoyance or a threat, our body reacts automatically as if we were in danger, triggering a stress response.

But the reality is that tinnitus is no more threatening or dangerous than the sound of a ceiling fan.

So what exactly is tinnitus?

A Reason for Hope

According to the Neurophysiological Model of Tinnitus, developed by Dr. Jonathan Hazel and Dr. Pawel Jastreboff in the early 1990s, the answer starts with a closer look at the cochlea. Within the cochlea sound waves are translated into electrical nerve impulses via 17,000 tiny hair-shaped sensory organs, called hair cells. A lot is going on inside the cochlea, and it happens to be a very noisy environment. In fact, the mechanical and electrical activity within the cochlea, combined with the constant movement of the hair cells, produces a measurable noise. These sounds are known as otoacoustic emissions, and can be recorded with sensitive microphones.

This is important to understand, because it means that even people who don't have tinnitus can hear the sounds of tinnitus under the right conditions. And we've known this for over 60 years.

In 1953, two scientists named Heller and Bergman conducted a clever experiment that has since been replicated several times. They recruited 80 university students with no history of tinnitus, and led them to believe they were having their hearing tested. Inside a sound absorbing (anechoic) booth, the students were instructed to press a button whenever they heard any sounds played through their headphones.

But it was a trick. For five straight minutes, no sounds were played at all, and yet incredibly, 93% of the students pressed the button. When questioned afterward, the students reported hearing a wide range of sounds, including buzzing, pulsing, and whistling noises. The exact sounds reported by most tinnitus sufferers.

Heller and Bergman demonstrated that just about everyone is capable of hearing the background electrical and mechanical noise present in the cochlea, in the inner ear, and in the nerve cells throughout our hearing pathways.

Tinnitus is therefore not something dangerous, or threatening, or a sign of internal damage. It's the result of your brain turning up the volume of natural sounds present within the body, sounds that everyone can hear under the right conditions. Typically, this happens as your brain attempts to compensate for changes in your sound environment such as silence, hearing loss, or exposure to sudden noise. It's an overcompensation, but a natural process nonetheless.
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Not two, not one, modified 16 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 903 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
"So now we have two pieces of the puzzle: memory and meaning. When a sound is important enough or carries enough of an emotional impact, we assign meaning to it and react accordingly. The problem is, if our reaction to a sound is consistent, over time it becomes an automatic response that activates both the limbic system, triggering an emotional response, and the autonomic nervous system, causing a physical response in the body. Very quickly a sound can become so closely intertwined with a specific response that, when we hear it, we react automatically without thinking at all."

A nice example of Salyatana, Sankhara, Namarupa, Phassa, Vedana, Tanha, Bhava. Also, Vinnana and Upadana are implied but not stated explicitly. Of course all this is founded in Avijja, and leads on to Jati and Jamarana. 
Jen S, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: Tinnitus

Posts: 5 Join Date: 4/22/21 Recent Posts
Awesome resource!  Thank you emoticon