Affecting 50 million Americans, tinnitus is the name for hearing a sound when no external sound is present. You might experience it as a ringing, or whispering in the ear, for example. These can be constant, or they can be intermittent. The tinnitus can appear to be in one or both ears, in the middle of the head, or even hard to identify in terms of location.
What causes tinnitus?
Although it might seem like a condition to be treated individually, it is more likely a symptom of an underlying problem. The most common problem it is identified with is hearing loss.
The sound flows into the ear when we hear. Once it is picked up by the hair cells, then the hearing nerve takes these sound signals to the brain. The brain then brings everything together and processes the sounds.
If something happens to disrupt this order, such as hearing loss or an ear infection, the amount of data sent to the brain changes. The brain then reacts by trying to gain additional information from its surroundings, and the extra information that you receive is the sound we call tinnitus.
It is generally agreed that it is not only the auditory shift that can cause tinnitus but also a change in our lives, such as a change in our quality of life.
Although there is no medical cure for tinnitus, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. We offer several options for managing your tinnitus, meaning you can continue to live your life in the way you see fit.
- Fix the underlying issue: Those who are experiencing earwax impaction or a conductive hearing loss may experience tinnitus relief through the treatment of those conditions.
- Hearing aids: Hearing aids help tinnitus in two ways. It provides a more varied sound landscape, which can help reduce the impact of tinnitus. Some devices also contain dedicated tinnitus therapy systems to relieve symptoms further.
- Sound therapy: There is a range of sound therapies available, including sound machines and personal sound packs for when you are on the go.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT): This uses a mixture of sound and behavioral therapies to help ease symptoms.
At Quality Hearing & Audiology Center, we want to help you relieve your tinnitus symptoms.