Tinnitus is most widely known as a ringing-in-the-ears sensation that people experience particularly as they get older, develop hearing loss or are exposed to dangerous noise levels. In people over 50, tinnitus is quite common. Also called a rushing, buzzing or whooshing sound, tinnitus is often caused by deterioration of the tiny hairs in the middle ear that transport sound waves to the auditory nerve. Tinnitus can have other causes and an underlying condition responsible for this noise could also cause other hearing issues.
While there are other causes for this ringing, people with the condition try to find relief in several ways. Audiologists have comprehensive treatment plans for tinnitus, and patients are encouraged to visit Sahali Professional Hearing Services to discuss options for treatment.
Hearing loss and tinnitus
Hearing loss usually accompanies tinnitus. The audiologist is tasked with diagnosing and treating your auditory problems as a whole; symptoms of one problem can be symptoms of another, or there might be no relation.
There are a number of factors that can make individuals more likely to develop tinnitus. These include:
- Stress and depression
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noises
- Earwax buildup or blockages
- Abnormal bone growth in the ear
- Meniere's disease
- Head or neck injuries
- Benign tumor of the cranial nerve
You might have one or more of these symptoms, but tinnitus could have other causes, though rarely. Once determining the potential cause behind your tinnitus, it’s crucial to develop a treatment plan that provides you with the relief you need.
There are a number of treatments available when it comes to finding relief from tinnitus. One of the most common forms of treatment is hearing aids. While hearing aids are generally prescribed to individuals with hearing loss, they are also incredibly successful when combatting the frustrating sounds of tinnitus. Many hearing aids can be equipped with a tinnitus-masking feature, which works to produce a peaceful sound to help block out the tinnitus sounds.
Sound machines are also widely used when dealing with tinnitus. These are generally utilized at night time when it is difficult for tinnitus sufferers to ignore the constant noise, and works by producing a sound (similar to the hearing aid maskers) to override the tinnitus.
Another effective treatment is tinnitus retraining therapy, or TRT. Your audiologist has methods to train the brain into classifying tinnitus as a normal noise, making it less annoying or distracting. This can sometimes be used separately or in conjunction with other relief options.
If you notice an annoying ringing or buzzing in your ear, take the first step to finding the relief you need! Call Sahali Professional Hearing Services today and schedule an appointment with our audiologist. We’re ready to help!