What Is Tinnitus and How Can it be Treated?

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Approximately one in five people experience a perception of noise or ringing in their ears, which is known as tinnitus. This condition can be experienced in a number of different ways. 90% of people with tinnitus experience hearing loss, but this loss of hearing could be due to aging, exposure to loud noises at a specific point in time, or exposure to loud noises over a lifetime.

Tinnitus is the most common service-related disability of veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Thanos Tzounopoulos, Ph.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology and neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, there are approximately 15 million Americans with tinnitus, of which 12 million experience it severely. About 2 million to 3 million have such severe cases of tinnitus that they can no longer work.

Some of the symptoms of tinnitus include ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing, or humming in the ears.

Tinnitus Treatment Options

A common cause of tinnitus is inner ear hair cell damage. Tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear move in relation to the pressure of sound waves. … If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken, they can “leak” random electrical impulses to your brain, causing tinnitus. While there is no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus, there are a number of treatment options. Something as simple as a hearing aid, for example, can improve the perception of noise and ringing in your ear while further preventing hearing loss in a patient. There are also options such as ‘tinnitus retraining therapy’ and ear-level masking devices that patients can explore when trying to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus.

If ringing in your ears bothers you, the first step is to consult with an audioprosthologist for a hearing evaluation. At Chenault House of Hearing, Inc., we offer a variety of hearing assessment options so that we can work towards finding a sustainable solution for you. Book an appointment with us today.

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