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wellness / sleep

Meditation for Tinnitus

by BetterSleep
Jul 12 • 4 min read

Approximately 15% to 20% of people have tinnitus, a frustrating condition that causes ringing in the ears. Without adequate treatment, and sometimes even with treatment, tinnitus can lead to insomnia, fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, headaches, and other complications. Meditation is one tool you can use to better manage and cope with ringing in your ears.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a constant sound in the ears that signals an abnormality or condition in the auditory system. The sound is often described as ringing but can also be buzzing, hissing, or clicking. The underlying cause of tinnitus ranges from a simple ear wax blockage to hearing loss resulting from long-term noise exposure.

Treating Tinnitus

Unfortunately, for most people, there is no curative treatment for tinnitus in most cases. In some instances, the underlying condition is treatable, for instance, a vascular condition or an earwax blockage. For others, treatment is all about management:

  • Hearing aids
  • White noise machines
  • Antidepressants and other medications
  • Counseling and therapy

How Does Meditation Help with Tinnitus?

Seeing a therapist for tinnitus can be helpful because they can teach you and help you practice coping mechanisms. A constant ringing in the ears affects your mental health, but you can tolerate it better with the right coping mechanisms.

Meditation is one powerful coping tool. When you have tinnitus, you tend to adjust to it over time. You stop noticing the sound, and it fades into the background. Worry, stress, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms can bring your attention back to the disruptive sound. The better you can cope with these feelings and moods; the less your tinnitus will bother you.

Studies bear out the benefits. One paper reviewed several studies of mindfulness and tinnitus, finding that patients who practiced any type of mindfulness had significantly less distress related to their condition.

Another study of how mindfulness could impact tinnitus also found good patient results. A program called Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction. The program reduces anxiety and depression in tinnitus patients and helps them sleep better.

Finding Your Tinnitus Meditation

If you are struggling with tinnitus, it’s best to talk to your doctor and work with an experienced therapist. You can also try meditation on your own. With regular practice, mindfulness meditation can reduce your symptoms and help you cope better as you manage stress, anxiety, and depression.

Any meditation will help, primarily if you practice regularly. However, you can also find guided meditations designed to help you cope with tinnitus.

BetterSleep’s meditation list includes a few focused on tinnitus. 5 Nights of Tinnitus Relief will take you through the use of soothing sounds, acceptance, deep breathing, and letting go of discomfort over several nights. Visualization for Tinnitus harnesses your brain’s ability to take you far away to cope better with the sounds of the condition.

Tinnitus is a frustrating, disruptive condition. Try these and other meditations to cope, manage symptoms and sleep better. Try these additional tips to make sleep easier and more restful when living with this condition.

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