Tinnitus is a unique condition that affects the hearing of roughly 25 million Americans nationwide. There are short-term cases and long-term cases which both result in the patient usually experiencing some kind of noise that only they can hear.
These noises are most commonly described as ringing, hissing, buzzing, clicking, or even whistling to name a few. In short-term cases, episodes can last for seconds or minutes.
Long-term cases can last much longer and can cause other medical conditions, including cognitive decline, anxiety, frustration, and depression.
With over 25 million Americans currently living with long-term tinnitus, it is our duty to inform and educate patients about their options and how to improve their life with tinnitus.
Causes & Preventive Measures
While tinnitus still raises some questions in the medical community and currently there is no definitive cure, we can be sure that these conditions increase a person’s chances of experiencing tinnitus.
- Loud noise events above the decibel level of a motorcycle
- Prolonged exposure to loud noises
- Head trauma
- Side effects from ototoxic medication
- Mild hearing loss that is left unattended for a long period of time
These are not the only ways to get tinnitus. Unfortunately, there are some physical conditions that can promote tinnitus as well.
- Wax buildup within the ear
- Fluid behind the eardrum
- Heart and blood vessel issues
- Dental issues
Due to the complexity of this condition, it is important to see a professional audiologist to examine and evaluate your unique situation.
Although not completely curable, with knowledge and expertise, tinnitus can be managed and our patients can lead a happy and fulfilling life. We have many options when caring for patients and here are just a few:
Hearing Aids — By introducing new sounds to a patient that is not used to hearing, we can quell the irritating noises produced by tinnitus.
Sound Generators — For more serious cases, we can introduce completely new sounds to wash out the ringing. Wind, rain, and waves crashing ashore are all much more pleasant. In some cases, the patient can be fit for a hearing device that achieves both improved hearing and added sound generation.
Reducing Stress — Stress can magnify many medical conditions and tinnitus is not immune. Reducing stress can lessen the intensity of the intrusive sound and may even improve other medical conditions as well.
Counseling — Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or acceptance and commitment therapy, (ACT) helps many individuals learn how to limit the attention given to tinnitus sounds along with techniques to better manage the stress and anxiety caused by the condition.
We Can Help
Unfortunately, tinnitus doesn’t go away on its own, and in most cases, it gradually worsens. This is why many residents of North Carolina visit Aim Hearing & Audiology Services to get the help that they need.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these conditions, then please schedule a hearing assessment here and let us help you improve your hearing and your life.