Tinnitus Treatment Options
Tinnitus, often referred to as “ringing in the ears” affects nearly 50 million Americans. It is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a sensation of noise that is typically caused by bodily condition and usually is of the subjective form which can only be heard by the one affected. In other words an individual perceives sound, but there is no external sound actually present.
The sound can be classified by the individual as the following sensations:
Tinnitus is a symptom, not a condition. It can be a symptom of the following:
- Hearing loss
- Obstruction of the ear canal
- Head and neck trauma
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
- Sinus pressure or ear infections
- Barometric trauma examples include scuba diving, snorkeling, airplane pressure changes
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ototoxic drugs, and medical conditions (examples include Meniere’s disease, High Blood Pressure, and so on)
There is a common misconception that there is no relief from tinnitus. However, tinnitus suffers may be able to experience relief with one of the many sound therapy treatments that are available to patients. It is important to speak to an audiologist about your unique situation to figure out the best way to treat tinnitus. The following are some of the ways to manage tinnitus:
- Address the problem: If your tinnitus is due to earwax build up, medication or infection, they’ll recommend the proper course to resolve the issue. This may include removing the earwax, switching medications or antibiotics. Behavioral therapy may also be recommended to help treat the varying emotions you may experience with tinnitus, from anxiety to anger.
- Hearing aids: Hearing devices are incredibly helpful in treating tinnitus. Even if a hearing loss isn’t present, hearing aids can be equipped with tinnitus-masking features that help cover the tinnitus and offer relief from the unwanted noise.
- White noise machines: If your tinnitus isn’t as severe or only experienced at night time, a white noise machine may be ideal for helping you find relief. White noise machines produce a steady sound to help mask the tinnitus noises you hear.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT): TRT is a form of therapy designed to help individuals with tinnitus find relief. This therapy involves retraining your mind to block out and hear certain tones, which in turn, helps to ease the symptoms caused by tinnitus.
If you are suffering from tinnitus schedule an appointment with a hearing professional to be evaluated. The hearing provider will work to identify the cause behind your tinnitus and recommend the appropriate treatment.