A common ailment afflicting many people as they grow older is tinnitus or ringing in the ears. The noise can be mild or profound, intermittent or constant, and in many cases, greatly affects the sufferer’s quality of life. While the cause is only partially understood, those with tinnitus usually have some level of hearing loss.
The condition can be caused by injury or disease, or other issues like circulatory problems. Tinnitus may affect one or both ears, with noise and volume in the ears varied. It is described in several ways: buzzing, ringing, hissing or whooshing sounds are the most common.
Tinnitus can be treated in several ways but there is no actual cure since the sound is a phantom noise generated by deteriorating organs of the ear. The organ that sends signals to the brain is the cochlea. The cochlea receives vibration (sound) and translates it to an electrical impulse. If there is a malfunction or deterioration of the cochlea, the organ can send a signal that the brain interprets as sound, although no sound is present.
The audiologist may perform tests to check for causes of tinnitus, which could be related to mechanical problems of the ear and jaw, nerve damage or other physical problem, or related to hearing loss.
Here are some treatments for tinnitus. These may or may not be recommended for your particular medical situation. Hearing health is always the top priority at Sound Advice, which is why we offer the following relief methods for tinnitus.
- Hearing aid technology: Some hearing aids are designed to create a masking noise to relieve tinnitus. Since hearing aids are meant to create the clearest sound possible, these products are generally given to people with serious tinnitus problems. Find out from our audiologist if this treatment is right for you.
- Noise masking: Many tinnitus sufferers use familiar sounds to mask ringing in the ears. Radio, television and noise machines are the most popular choices. Machines or fans help, particularly while trying to sleep.
- Psychotherapy: In some cases, people can “train their brain” to be less antagonized by tinnitus. This therapy depends on the condition and individual. Professionals teach this technique and include ways to practice techniques in the class. There are two types: behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy.
- Medication: Medications such as antidepressants can ease tinnitus. These are prescribed at the time of diagnosis. There are also medications that cause or exacerbate tinnitus and people are often helped by changing these medications.
Contact Sound Advice today to find out more about alleviating tinnitus symptoms.