Tinnitus: Noise In The Ears
Do you (or a loved one) experience a ringing in your ears or buzzing in the ears that no one else can hear? If so, you are not alone. You have tinnitus, an audiological and neurological condition experienced by nearly 50 million Americans.
While it is commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can manifest many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, “crickets chirping’, and clicking.
In some rare cases, tinnitus patients report hearing music. Tinnitus can be both an acute (temporary) concern or a chronic (ongoing) health condition.
Millions of Americans experience tinnitus, often to a debilitating degree, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 15% of the general public — over 50 million Americans — experience some form of tinnitus.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus has multiple causes and can be temporary or permanent. In some cases, tinnitus is a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Here are the most common causes of tinnitus:
Exposure to loud noise
Exposure to loud noise is considered to be the most common cause of tinnitus. In this case, your hearing may be temporarily or permanently damaged, depending upon the severity of the sound.
Specific medications, known as “ototoxic medications” are known to cause damage to the hearing nerve and/or hearing system. These medications are also linked to tinnitus.
Although not discussed often, it is believed that decreasing stimulants (i.e., coffee, sugar) can have a positive impact on tinnitus.
Head or neck trauma can result in injury to the hearing system, increasing hearing loss and tinnitus.
Stress can cause and/or exacerbate tinnitus.
Tinnitus can result from restricted ear drum movement and/or wax build-up.
Jaw or ear disorders
Other disorders of the ear (i.e., otoscerlosis, Meniere’s Disease etc.) and/or jaw (i.e., TMJ) can also cause or increase tinnitus.
Hearing loss, also known as damage to the hearing nerve, is a major cause of tinnitus.
What Types of Tinnitus Treatment Are Available?
There are multiple tinnitus treatments that can quiet the noise in your ears. You don’t have to live with this constant nuisance. Our audiologist (“hearing doctor”) can assess your situation, determine the most likely cause of your tinnitus and recommend the best options which will provide you with relief.
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are treatment options available which can successfully help to greatly diminish, and sometimes get rid of, tinnitus altogether.
Earwax buildup is one cause of tinnitus We can safely remove earwax, which can relieve or even resolve the tinnitus.
When needed, hearing aids can treat both the hearing loss and tinnitus. For most patients, hearing aids can provide partial or complete relief.
If our assessment indicates that other medical issues may be causing the tinnitus, we will refer you to a physician for diagnosis and treatment of the medical condition(s).
Although there exists no cure, there is hope that a homeopathic or herbal remedy may help. Cognitive therapy may also be recommended based upon the hearing evaluation.
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Schedule your appointment today to see what treatment options may help you!
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06/08/2019 Review submitted online
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