This is a pretty hot topic: Is tinnitus curable? Can we cure tinnitus? What causes my ringing in the ears? Could it be earwax? The answer to all of those questions is yes, tinnitus is reversible. In my personal opinion, I don’t think it needs a cure because I don’t view tinnitus as an abnormality or a disease. Tinnitus are the sounds we hear in our own ears or head or body. And it’s a sound that our body makes and generates. It’s healthy and normal. It’s completely safe. It doesn’t hurt us at all. So physically, that sound belongs in our body. Emotionally, this is where the kind of abnormality, if you want to call it, that can really enter the stage.
So it’s physically normal to have sounds in our body. It’s not emotionally normal to hate it or want to get rid of it or to have this inner conflict with it. And unfortunately, what can cause that inner conflict is when people are told that tinnitus is abnormal or told it’s a disease or told it’s incurable or there’s no treatment. And then that gives them this kind of narrative and story that they’re really wrong and there’s something wrong with their ears and they shouldn’t be hearing this. Well, actually, nine in 10 people can hear their tinnitus when they’re in a quiet room. It’s normal to hear it, it’s totally safe and it’s no big deal. The reason it intensifies and becomes louder and becomes really emotionally aggravating is because we’ve been fed this fear story. And so then we’re fighting it and we want to get rid of it.
Unfortunately, the more we want to get rid of our tinnitus, the more we focus on it. And what then happens from a neuroscience perspective and from a neuroplasticity perspective is whatever we focus on, the brain gives more attention to and more devotion to and more resources to. So if I really focus on my tinnitus and tell the brain I really hate it and I want to get rid of it, all the brain hears is Joey is interested in this sound. So I’m going to help Joey and make it louder. I’m going to give those tinnitus neural pathways more neurons, more blood flow, more energy, I’m going to intensify it so she can really focus on it, because she’s obviously really interested in it, she’s thinking about getting rid of it all the time. So I’m going to help Joey hear it. So our brain is actually responding to whatever we focus on. But the brain doesn’t know the difference between get rid of it and I love this and I want to hear more of it. Okay, so the brain is not getting the full picture, it’s just understanding where the focus is going.
And one of the questions we get asked is, can earwax cause tinnitus? And definitely any anatomical change around the ear can cause changing sounds. And so if earwax is floating around the ear canal or resting on the eardrum, it can create these funny rumbling sounds. And a lot of people will say they hear their tinnitus after getting earwax cleaned out, which again, can be this bringing attention to the ears, unnecessarily focusing on the ears, and unfortunately, perhaps being thrown into this narrative of it’s abnormal to have sounds in your body, you can’t get rid of it, you can’t cure it. So then we fall into this kind of catastrophic thinking that tinnitus is going to ruin our lives, ruin our relationships, ruin everything. It’s simply not the case. It’s normal to have sounds generated by the body, it’s normal to hear them. It’s not normal to hate them and want to get rid of them.
My book, Rock Steady, explains in detail how to take a very different approach, how to rebuild new neural pathways that de-emphasize the tinnitus sound and allow you to go back to a peaceful, calm and kind living, where we learn the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of healing, because to build new neural maps and neural pathways, it’s not just a physical diet, it’s not a physical supplement, it’s not a device, a masking device. In order to build new neural maps, we need to look at the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual aspects of ourselves as a whole person because what we believe in changes how our neurons fire, the emotions we experience and anxiety loops and our capacity to self-support, self-reassure and self-regulate, that impacts our neural firings and neural mappings. Our mental dialogue, the way we talk to ourselves, the way we treat ourselves, our level of kindness or inner critique, that impacts our neural firing.
So to take the Rock Steady path means to take the holistic process of looking at, okay, how can I take a completely different approach to this tinnitus? How can I take a no big deal approach? How can I be kind to myself? And how can I rebuild neural pathways that help me return to normal and completely override and overcome this tinnitus? Whether it comes and goes, doesn’t matter. In fact, a healthy person will have a healthy amount of inner ear noise or body noise coming and going in their life intermittently. It’s just it’s never a big deal, it’s not loud, it’s not often. It’s just kind of it’s just wafting in and out circumstantially. What is abnormal is when people latch on to that sound, focus on it, amplify it, and then get this kind of emotional inner conflict that can result worst case scenarios, in deeply suicidal events and deep tragedy.
And I want you to hear, it’s reversible, you can cure tinnitus, you can recover from it, you can completely overcome it. I know I have myself, I don’t hear mine at all anymore. And if it comes and goes, it’s usually circumstantial, like there’s wind in one ear or I’m just tired and need to go to bed. So it comes and goes in a really normal fashion. I no longer have chronic tinnitus and there’s no anxiety or emotional attachment to it. Visit my website at seekingbalance.com.au to learn more about how to cure tinnitus, why perhaps you don’t even need a cure and that’s the wrong word, and how you can override and overcome any form of ringing in the ears. You can learn more about the causes to ringing in the ears and some of the anatomy of the ear beyond the earwax so you can learn more about your ears. And I think learning about it can help it feel less scary and help you arrive at that no big deal approach and feeling safe within your body and whatever it is you’re hearing. So visit seekingbalance.com.au.