This is the inspiring story of Tamara, a patient at Treble Health, who has been on a journey of transformation and resilience.
Tamara’s journey began one spring morning when she woke up to an intense ringing in her ears, so sudden and loud that she feared the root cause was a significant health issue. Upon consulting her physician, she was diagnosed with tinnitus. However, the advice that followed was unsettling; her doctor stated that her symptoms would fade with time, leaving her without a clear path to manage the discomfort.
Tamara’s tinnitus wasn’t a mere annoyance; it was a debilitating factor, scoring a nine on a ten-point scale of severity. The impact was so significant that it disrupted her sleep, daily activities, relationships, and job performance. She soon realized, contrary to her doctor’s advice, that there were indeed strategies and treatments available that could help manage her symptoms. This realization marked her first encounter with Treble Health.
Treble Health provided a haven for Tamara. From being told, “There’s no pill we can give you [or] surgery that will help you,” she moved to a care team equipped with a suite of management options. She embarked on a tinnitus management journey with cognitive behavioral style support and sound therapy, which promptly reduced her discomfort from a ten to a manageable four or five on the pain scale.
Tamara emphasizes the importance of focus and self-care in her management regimen. She states, “You have to focus your thoughts. You have to get past the noise.” Activities like writing, taking walks, deep breathing, listening to podcasts, and leaning on her support system of family and friends became key strategies in her fight against tinnitus.
One interesting tool she incorporated was the use of a notebook to track her journey. Rating her tinnitus on a scale of one to ten, she noted her progress over time. This tool provided perspective and illustrated her progress, showing how her tinnitus changed, becoming quieter, less intense, and less intrusive.
This process is known as habituation in the tinnitus field – the brain naturally reduces tinnitus over time by getting used to the sounds and treating them as non-threatening, background noise.
Tamara further underscores the importance of seeking formal treatments beyond self-guided strategies. Working with a licensed professional introduced her to tinnitus maskers, a solution that proved invaluable. Using maskers for six to eight hours a day became a game-changer in her tinnitus management regimen.
Despite the fluctuating nature of her tinnitus, ranging from the sound of cicadas to whooshing and high-pitched rings, Tamara successfully reduced her stress levels by implementing and reinforcing her strategies daily. She encourages others experiencing tinnitus to persevere through the slow progress, stating, “Just stick with it and you’ll get there.”
Indeed, Tamara’s story demonstrates the power of effective management strategies, professional help, and community support in the face of tinnitus. Her journey serves as a beacon of hope for those navigating a similar path and shows that with persistence and the right tools, tinnitus can be tamed.
At Treble Health, we cherish these success stories and invite others to share their experiences. If you’re dealing with tinnitus and are unsure of your next steps, take the tinnitus survey here. Let Tamara’s story be a reminder – you’re not alone, and effective solutions are within reach.