Do you hear ringing in your ears? This is a symptom called tinnitus, which can also sound like a chirping, clicking, whooshing, buzzing or hissing. Tinnitus affects more than 40 million Americans, making it a very common issue. Rather than a condition, tinnitus is actually a symptom of some other condition. There are several causes for tinnitus, though in many cases, an individual’s tinnitus can’t be linked to any one cause.
While some people can get used to the sounds of mild tinnitus, more severe cases can majorly impact your lifestyle, happiness and wellbeing. About 5 percent of patients are affected by tinnitus that’s considered moderately or significantly annoying and requires treatment from an tinnitus expert. Worse, 1 in every 100 adults suffers from debilitating tinnitus.
When the underlying cause of tinnitus can be identified, sometimes the symptom can be eliminated through treating the condition that’s causing it. Examples of this include tinnitus caused by built-up earwax, a vascular condition, allergies or medication. Other times, the symptom will simply go away on its own. However, for many patients, tinnitus is a permanent, irreversible issue. In these cases, other treatment options are available.
The most commonly used and successful treatments for tinnitus are white noise therapy and other noise suppression techniques. This type of treatment distracts the brain from the sound of the tinnitus, allowing you to tune it out. Tinnitus physicians commonly prescribe special electronic instruments designed for this task; however, some patients find success using simple household items like fans, air conditioners or humidifiers. Hearing aids are another good option to treat tinnitus with sound therapy. They can be turned up in order to tune out the sound of tinnitus and worn whenever necessary.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is an innovative process of counseling and education combined with sound therapy for even higher success rates. Anyone interested in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy should begin by talking to our knowledgeable audiology staff at Hearing and Balance Center.