What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ear when there is no related external sound; some call it “ringing in the ears.” Tinnitus is not a disease, but a hearing loss condition that can result from a wide range of underlying causes. Surprising to most, this hearing loss condition affects approximately 1 in 5 people.
Common causes of Tinnitus include:
- Loud noise exposure
- Neurological damage
- Multiple sclerosis
- Ear infection
- Foreign objects in the ear
- Auto toxic medication
- Nasal allergies that prevent or induce fluid drain
- Ear wax build-up
- Withdrawal from a benzodiazepine addiction
- Head or neck trauma
- In-ear headphones, especially when the volume is set beyond moderate levels
Tinnitus may be accompanied with sensorineural hearing loss or congenital hearing loss, or it may be observed as a side effect of certain medications. However, the most common cause is noise-induced. There are a few recommended ways to get tinnitus relief. Here are some options that we recommend:
Counseling– Speak to an audiologist about your concerns and questions, learn more about tinnitus, discuss the causes of tinnitus, and come up with a treatment plan.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy –Tinnitus Retraining Therapy combines low-level, steady background sounds played through a device with intensive counseling. Over time, this technique may accustom you to the tinnitus, thus helping you not to focus on it.
Hearing Aid Products– These can be especially helpful for tinnitus sufferers who also have hearing loss problems. The use of appropriate hearing aids can provide relief, and in some cases, may improve the condition.
Tinnitus Maskers – These devices fit in the ear and are similar to hearing aids. They produce a continuous, low-level white noise that suppresses tinnitus symptoms. While worn, Maskers can restore ambient sounds and eliminate the effects of Tinnitus.
Sound Therapy– A lot of people who suffer from Tinnitus report that the presence of background sound reduces the prominence or the loudness of their tinnitus. There are non-wearable devices and wearable maskers that produce pleasant background sound. They can be combined with hearing aids to achieve better results.
Relaxation Exercises – Most people with tinnitus find that their symptoms are worse when under stress, so relaxation techniques can be helpful to reduce tinnitus symptoms. This can be discussed with a hearing care professional.
If you are looking for an experienced hearing care professional in San Diego, CA, contact North County Audiology. Our audiologist can perform the proper hearing tests and help diagnose and treat your hearing loss problems, including Tinnitus. Call (858) 240-4722 today and make an appointment.