What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus (pronounced TIN-ni-tus), or ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness. It is often most noticeable in quiet environments, so you may be more aware of it at night when you’re trying to fall asleep.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, it can be successfully managed. At Freedom Hearing Center, we can help you gain control and take back your life by developing a course of treatment that suits your specific needs. With education and the appropropriate devices and tools, our goal is to help you understand and manage your tinnitus rather than letting it create a negative impact on your daily life.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are many possible causes of tinnitus, however many are actually unknown. The most common causes are:
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Injuries to the head or neck
- Reaction to medication (Ototoxicity)
- Natural aging
- Sudden impact noises
- Untreated medical conditions
- Stress and depression
- Hearing loss
- Earwax buildup or blockages
- Abnormal bone growth in the ear
- Meniere’s disease
- Benign tumor of the cranial nerve
The Effects of Tinnitus
Tinnitus affects everyone differently. The most common areas include:
- Emotions: Many can become annoyed, frustrated, depressed, anxious, or angry about it
- Hearing Loss: In some, the sounds of tinnitus mask speech and environmental sounds
- Sleep: In many, tinnitus is most prevalent in a quiet environment such as in bed, making it difficult to sleep
- Concentration: Some sufferers find it difficult to concentrate due to the constant ringing
In order to find out the cause of your tinnitus, your audiologist will conduct a complete medical history as well as a physical and audiological evaluation. After learning more about how your tinnitus affects you, we may recommend various treatments, some of which may include medical options or alternative therapies.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss and roughly 90% of those suffering from tinnitus experience some degree of hearing impairment.
Hearing devices with sound solution options are helpful for many people who have tinnitus, and most people have shown marked improvement with their tinnitus simply by wearing hearing aids. Since these devices give your brain other sounds to listen to, it has the effect of making your tinnitus less noticeable.
Fortunately, research on this issue has led to new advances in hearing technology that specifically targets tinnitus. Call us to learn more about these solutions and if they apply to you.