What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a medical condition characterized by persistent sounds in one or both ears without any external source. The sound is only perceived by the person affected. It has also been described as whistling, hissing, buzzing, or pulsing in the ear. These sounds may fluctuate and seem worse in a quiet environment. The effects range from slight annoyance to severe disruption of everyday life. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that over 50 million Americans suffer from Tinnitus.
To better understand your tinnitus, our Audiologists will take a medical history, examine your ears, and complete a thorough hearing evaluation. Additionally, the Audiologist will play a series of sounds ranging in pitch and volume to “match” your tinnitus. This will help us understand what tinnitus sounds like to you and what the possible underlying cause may be. A referral to an otolaryngologist may be necessary depending on the results of the evaluation.
There is no single cure for tinnitus. However, there are many ways to help manage an individual’s perception and emotional response to tinnitus. Some options include Notch Therapy, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, and hearing aids. Center for Audiology Services Audiologists are experienced at providing individual solutions on a case-by-case basis.
Hearing loss is the most common underlying cause of tinnitus. When hearing loss is addressed through properly fit hearing aids, many people notice a reduction in their tinnitus while also hearing everyday sounds clearer.
Our audiologists will also evaluate other treatment options with you including sound therapy. Sound therapy works through habituation- helping the brain learn to pay less attention to the tinnitus. It is an involved process that can take many months to reduce the perception of tinnitus.
Additionally, simple lifestyle changes can help reduce your tinnitus! Stress, lack of sleep, high caffeine intake, poor diet, and limited exercise have all been shown to increase an individual’s perception of their tinnitus.
If you are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus, please don’t hesitate to contact us.