As coronavirus continues to impact people across the UK and globally, many people are having to stay at home, practice social distancing and substantially change their daily routine. What can you do to help manage tinnitus in these challenging times?

Manage stress

Many people find that their tinnitus increases during a time of stress and anxiety. It is understandable to be feel more upset or worried at this time, but being able to manage your stress will help your overall wellbeing, and manage your tinnitus.

Things you can do to support yourself

  • Limit your viewing of news or social media – schedule times to check in to make sure you have the latest information, and then stop.
  • Be mindful, and focus on controlling what you can control – washing your hands, keeping up with your tinnitus management techniques, and aspects of your daily routine.
  • Understand that this too will pass, and you are not alone.
  • Stay connected – phone calls, texts or video chats will help.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, contact your GP, NHS 111 or Samaritans on 116 123.

Acknowledge that there will be change

Our standard advice for people with tinnitus is to keep doing the things you love and don’t let tinnitus restrict you. This is going to be more challenging whilst the outbreak takes its course.

Follow official advice about movements and socialising. Acknowledge that the situation may change rapidly over the coming days and weeks. Retaining elements from your usual routine can be a comfort, but also be prepared for doing things in new ways.

Tinnitus management techniques

Although we have advised our network of independent tinnitus support groups to cancel meetings up to the end of May, there are still many other things that you can do to help manage your tinnitus:

  • Wear your hearing aids – if you have hearing loss, hearing aids will help both your hearing and your tinnitus. Hearing aids don’t work in a drawer!
  • Sound therapy – if the noises seem louder at night or quiet times, it may help to have some natural or gentle sound from an app, CD, sound generator or even a fan or ticking clock in the background.
  • Relaxation – learning to relax properly is probably one of the most useful things you can do. Check out some of our information, including ideas for relaxation without sound. If you have a smart phone, there are some excellent free relaxation apps available.
  • Take on Tinnitus – this is our free tinnitus management e-programme, which guides you through some facts about tinnitus and helps identify some simple strategies to keep it under control. You can find it here:

Take on Tinnitus

Reach out

If you need a friendly voice or understanding contact, we will continue to provide confidential tinnitus support throughout this period. Our helpline remains open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and you can contact us in the following ways:

  • Phone: 0800 018 0527
  • Web chat – click the let’s chat icon on this page
  • Text: 07537 416841
  • Email: [email protected]

Our online forum is available 24 hours a day to offer you support from other people with tinnitus. Forum members understand what you are going through and can help support you through the tough times – and will celebrate with you on the good days! You can find our forum by clicking the button below:

BTA Forum

We remain committed to supporting you and all members of the tinnitus community during this uncertain and challenging time.

Further reading:

Mental health helplines (NHS information)

Manage stress and anxiety during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC information)

Coronavirus (NHS information)

Government response to coronavirus (UK Government information)

Author: Nic Wray

Updated: 24 March 2020

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash