Between 10 and 15 percent, or between 29.7 and 50 million American adults, experience some degree of tinnitus annually. Additionally, tinnitus is also the number one service-connected disability among veterans.
Patients with tinnitus usually experience significant challenges due to their symptoms, which can cause stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness.
These conditions tend to produce adverse effects on your overall health. Because there is no definitive cause or cure, you may have been told that you will just have to learn to live with it, leaving you feeling hopeless and frustrated.
However, with the help of the right team of experts, your tinnitus is manageable.
At Park Place Hearing, we have helped hundreds of local people to manage their tinnitus challenges and remove the burden that it was causing to their day-to-day lives. If you or a loved one is experiencing tinnitus challenges, then we are here to help.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing sound that is not really there. You might describe your tinnitus as ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing, or humming.
This phantom noise may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal present in one or both of your ears. At its most advanced stages, tinnitus can become so loud and disruptive that it can interfere with your ability to concentrate or to hear real external sounds. You may experience ongoing or chronic tinnitus or it may come and go.
Audiologists have identified two kinds of tinnitus.
#1-Subjective tinnitus, or tinnitus only you can hear, is the most common type. It can be the result of problems in your outer, middle, or inner ear, and it can be the result of damage to auditory nerves or issues relating to how your brain interprets sounds from auditory pathway nerve signals.
#2 -Objective tinnitus can also be heard by your doctor during an examination. Although rare, this type of tinnitus is often associated with a blood vessel problem, issues with your middle ear bone structures, or due to muscle contractions in and around the auditory structures.
A diagnosis of tinnitus is a critical step in getting help to treat or manage the issues contributing to your specific case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the cause of my tinnitus?
Most people experience tinnitus as a spontaneous condition that comes and goes. Although there are recognized triggers, usually exposure to excessively loud noise or a heavy blow to the ear, most cannot identify a specific cause for the condition.
Essentially, no single cause for tinnitus has been identified, making it difficult to provide a definitive cure for all who suffer from the condition.
Q: Should I see an audiologist for treatment?
Absolutely! Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss as well as other health conditions. As a doctor, your audiologist is qualified to identify medical conditions, medications, and environmental contributors to your condition as well as possible hearing loss or hearing damage.
Q: Does a hearing test help to identify my tinnitus?
Yes! Mild hearing loss is often associated with tinnitus. Without the distraction of sounds external to the ear, due to hearing loss, your tinnitus could be more pronounced and more intrusive. Diagnosing your hearing loss and the use of hearing aids can often reduce the intensity of your tinnitus, improving your quality of life in two ways.
Q: Can my tinnitus be cured?
Without a definitive cause, there is no definitive cure. However, several treatment options help to manage, ease the discomfort, reduce stress, or allow you to sleep in spite of the condition. Additionally, tinnitus resolves itself on its own accord in the cases of about two-thirds of those who experience spontaneous tinnitus.
However, tinnitus caused by underlying health problems might be eliminated by treating the health problem, making it essential to consult with a medical professional about your condition.
Q: Will tinnitus damage my hearing?
Although severe tinnitus can interfere with your hearing, it does not cause additional damage to your hearing or hearing loss. Although not always the case, tinnitus can be the result of inner ear damage, but it is a symptom rather than a cause of the damage.
Q: How can I get to sleep if I have tinnitus?
Silence is usually the best backdrop for achieving beneficial sleep, which is interrupted by the buzzing or ringing of tinnitus. There are practical strategies to help you sleep in spite of your tinnitus. These strategies are designed to distract you from the sound of tinnitus by using a low level ambient background noise or white noise, such as sounds of nature, soothing music, or a combination of soothing sounds, to mask or reduce your focus on your tinnitus, allowing you to drift off.
Q: Do my prescription medications cause tinnitus?
Ototoxic medications are toxic to the ears and are capable of causing damage to hearing and balance. Some also contribute to the development of tinnitus. The occurrence and degree of ototoxicity is usually linked to the specific drug involved, its dosage level, taking two or more ototoxic medications at the same time, heredity, and reduced kidney function. Effects can be temporary or permanent.