Hearing a ringing, buzzing, chirping or humming in the ear is known as tinnitus. While the condition itself will stay the same, how you perceive the sounds can fluctuate. This is known as a tinnitus spike.
Understanding a Tinnitus Spike
A tinnitus spike occurs when the sounds you are used to hearing change, either becoming louder or changing in tone or pitch. A spike can last for a few minutes, hours or even days or weeks at a time.
While these spikes can be challenging to deal with, they are not a sign that your tinnitus is getting worse. They are simply part of how your brain tries to tune out the tinnitus, which is known as the habituation process.
Causes of a Tinnitus Spike
While a spike may feel random, it is usually the direct cause of a combination of internal or external factors. Figuring out the cause can be challenging. Sleep deprivation, anxiety and stress are the three most common factors that can contribute to tinnitus. Additional tinnitus triggers include:
- Loud noises
- Certain medications, vitamins or supplements
In order to figure out what is triggering your tinnitus spikes, you should keep a journal or tracker. After some time, you may be able to identify a pattern and make any needed lifestyle changes to eliminate those factors.
While identifying your triggers is helpful, it is not required in order to find relief.
Tuning out the sounds around you is known as habituation. Your brain works hard in order to ensure you can carry on a conversation while in a noisy place such as Lazy Dog Restaurants. But it is harder to tune out sounds that your brain thinks are important. Unfortunately, this includes the sound of your tinnitus.
Since you cannot eliminate your tinnitus spikes, experts recommend focusing your treatment on controlling what you can. This includes using your coping tools to help you stay relaxed, calm and comfortable and implementing tinnitus masking by adding background sounds.
To learn more about tinnitus spikes or to speak with a tinnitus expert, contact Decibel hearing today.