Tinnitus “Bedtime Worry”…..By Dr. Richard Reikowski, Au.D Family Hearing and Balance Center



Nighttime can be most stressful and worrisome for those suffering from tinnitus. Earlier today, I had a very nice visit with a new patient who has been through many recent neurological, ENT, and family physician assessments to gain a better understanding of her tinnitus. She is searching for help or relief from her tinnitus that is most bothersome at night.

She has been prescribed a generic form of Ativan to relieve the stress and help to sleep. She feels the medication is offering help, but she would much rather not have to take prescriptive drugs to get to sleep.

“Try to learn to live with it”, became the common phrase from her prior medical specialist visits. This rather simple, but quite impacting phrase, “try to learn to live with it” troubled her and caused tears as she drove away from those visits. A shimmer of light came after being given an American Tinnitus Association brochure, by her ENT,… she felt there may be help for her. She found our practice though this resource and was impressed that our office was a Professional and Research Member of the American Tinnitus Association.

Our visit today consisted of listening to her and her husband and to understand what negative affects the tinnitus is causing to her life, her husband, and to her daily activities. We discussed the process of getting to know the qualities of the tinnitus, what is most bothersome, and to develop strategies to isolate triggers or things that are exaggerating the unwanted noises in her head. In addition, I shared what we can offer in potential solutions, as they may apply, after a complete understanding of the tinnitus is known.

The process begins with a conversation and openness to learn…..

Yes, there is hope. Yes, there is promise of reducing the awareness and negative attention tinnitus causes on ones life.

“Try to learn to live with it” is, in fact, a statement that is used all too often when there is a lack of understanding treatment and rehabilitation options.

The medical community can best assist the patient having tinnitus, once it is determined that medical or surgical avenues cannot be traveled, to best help by referring the patient to a practice that places emphasis on tinnitus solutions.

Let’s do our best to reduce “Bedtime worry”.

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6 Comments Showing 50 most recent
  1. Jen

    I remember this patient and I was so intrigued that her Tinnitus is triggered the most at night when it’s quiet and dark. This is why I love that you emphasis how important it is to fully understand what you are dealing with in this post. Most of us would think that the quiet and darkness would be where you would find the most relief vs it being the worst. Or at least in this case.
    Thanks for writing this, loved it.

    • Dr Reikowski

      Thank you for sharing!
      Yes, I was as well intrigued by the affects the darkness had.
      You’re welcome!

  2. Kristie

    It is nice that we can provide so many options for our patients who struggle with tinnitus. It pains me to hear that phrase used over and over again when it turns out there is so much we can do to help these people.

    • Dr Reikowski

      Thanks Kristie! Yes, it pains me to continue to hear the phrase that people need to live with it. It seems like a lazy response….

  3. Gail

    Great article!

    • Dr Reikowski

      Thank you Gail!

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