Tinnitus is often defined as ringing in the ears, but it can actually be more than that. It is the awareness of sound, when there is no outside source for that sound. It often presents as a ringing sound in the ears, but it can also be a hissing, clicking, buzzing or rough sound. And for some people, the sound is so loud that it is almost unbearable.
Who Has Tinnitus?
According to the American Tinnitus Association, over 50 million people in the United States have some degree of tinnitus, and over 10 million of them have tinnitus bad enough that they seek medical care for it. 40% of people with tinnitus experience the noise in their ears for most of the day.
How Do You Get Tinnitus?
Exposure to loud noise is the most common cause of tinnitus – either through work, the military or recreation. But other things like cardiovascular disease, age-related hearing loss, ear or sinus infections and Meniere’s disease have all been linked to tinnitus.
Your Tinnitus Assessment
An experienced audiologist can conduct a comprehensive assessment and give you the best advice on how to manage or alleviate tinnitus.
A full tinnitus assessment may include:
- Your medical and hearing history
- A full hearing assessment to determine the characteristics and potential causes of your tinnitus
- Tests to determine your tinnitus pitch, intensity and volume
- Measuring how sensitive you are to noise-masking
- Recommendations for managing your tinnitus
Can Tinnitus Be Cured?
At this time, there is no cure for tinnitus, and no treatments to eliminate tinnitus. However, there are things you can do to manage tinnitus, including sound therapy, counseling to reduce negative emotions, and relaxation. For people who have both tinnitus and hearing loss, hearing aids can be very helpful.
Get Your Tinnitus Checked By An Audiologist
If you know or suspect that you or a loved one is dealing with tinnitus, it is important to visit an audiologist as soon as possible. Left unattended, tinnitus can cause stress, sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, memory problems, anxiety and depression. Getting your case of tinnitus assessed, and managing it with the advice of an audiologist, is the best way to minimize any negative effects of tinnitus and enjoy a full, positive, quality of life.