According to the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 50 million Americans have experienced tinnitus.
1. Tinnitus Defined
Tinnitus refers to the sensation of hearing sounds in your ear, even if there are no actual external noises. Typically, tinnitus is subjective, which means that the person who has this condition is the only one who can hear the noises. Generally, those who have the condition have characterized the sound as a “ringing in the ears”. Others have explained it as a chirping, buzzing, hissing, roaring, or whistling noise.
Not only do the sounds vary from person to person, but the effects are also unique for each individual. Some have experienced irregular instances, while others have relentless symptoms.
The need for some relief is so great that many will do anything from getting acupuncture, to using eardrops, herbal solutions, hypnosis, etc.
2. Causes of Tinnitus
Experts have not determined the precise cause(s) of tinnitus. There are many sources that are known to trigger or worsen ringing sensations in the ears:
Aging - Natural aging will gradually destroy the cilia. This is one of the main causes of hearing loss. Tinnitus is a frequent syndrome when it comes to age-related hearing loss.
Hearing Conditions - Conditions like Ménière's disease can cause tinnitus.
Health Conditions - There are numerous health conditions that have been linked to tinnitus, including:
Loud sounds - Being exposed to loud noises can destroy cilia (small hairs) located in the cochlea. These small hairs cannot regenerate, which causes permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Tinnitus that is noise-induced is the result of exposure to very loud noises from your surroundings, which may include a loud concert, a factory environment, being around heavy machinery, or from gunshots.
Ototoxic medications - Certain prescription medicines like antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, diuretics, etc. can be ototoxic (harmful to the inner ear and the nerve fibers that connect the cochlea and the brain).
3. Is tinnitus curable?
Tinnitus has no known cure. According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), there are therapies and treatments available that may help lessen the problems associated with tinnitus.
One of the options is using hearing aids. Hearing health care professionals have noted that 60 percent of patients who suffer from tinnitus have felt a sense of relief when wearing them.
Sound therapy is another alternative to treating tinnitus. Hearing aids can be used effectively during acoustic or sound therapy sessions, making the ringing or buzzing sensations less evident.
4. What to do if You or Someone you know has Symptoms of Tinnitus
Because the precise cause of tinnitus is unknown, it is recommended that you see a professional for a hearing test evaluation. There are specific features that are measured for tinnitus:
5. How to Relieve Tinnitus
As aforementioned, there’s no cure for tinnitus, but there are hearing aids that can help relieve symptoms.
If you suffer from tinnitus, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation for the best options that we have available for you!
Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.