Do you hear it? The ringing, whooshing, buzzing, ever-constant noise in your ears? You’re not alone. Nearly 50 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus.
But, if you do experience some sort of ringing in your ears, it’s no walk in the park. It’s certainly not fun to hear a noise in your ears when you don’t want to. Let’s explore exactly what tinnitus is, what causes it, and how you can stop it.
Tinnitus is a sound heard in your ears that is not caused by any external noise. “It appears sometimes randomly,” Dr. Patricia Reiff says, one of our audiologists at Associates in Hearing. “It can be frightening when you first experience it because you’re not sure where it came from or why it started.”
One of the characteristics of this affliction is how the sound heard in one’s ears can vary from person to person. It can be a ringing, buzzing, whooshing, hissing, or clicking sound. It can vary in pitch, how frequently in occurs, and it can be temporary or ongoing.
What Causes It?
The sound in your ears could be caused by a number of things. You might experience it if you have sudden, traumatic hearing loss, like being exposed to a loud speaker. It could be a gradual symptom of hearing loss. It could even be a result of an underlying medical issue.
When you visit our offices for your tinnitus, we make sure to rule out any serious causes. “We evaluate the patient, see if there’s hearing loss, and test the outer and middle ear system. Once we rule out any medical issues that would need attention, we can treat the tinnitus,” Dr. Reiff explains.
In most cases, tinnitus can be treated so that it is not a major, debilitating issue.
How Do You Stop It?
Well, the bad news is, sometimes you can’t stop the ringing. Sometimes tinnitus is just something you have to live with. The good news is there are measures you can take to keep tinnitus from causing you frustration.
Once you’ve been evaluated in our office, and we’ve been able to pinpoint what’s causing the noise in your ears, we can move forward in two ways: counseling and useful techniques to live comfortably with tinnitus.
Dr. Reiff explains how these two steps can be helpful: “Through counseling, we can assure there’s nothing to worry about, and any kind of lifestyle changes can be helpful. If they have hearing loss, hearing aids can help mask tinnitus or at least make it less noticeable. In a lot of cases, we can enhance residual hearing (giving the patient more hearing in their spectrum of sound) so ringing isn’t as noticeable.”
A comfortable, happy life is possible with tinnitus! When you take the time to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist, you can receive treatment that will reduce the impact tinnitus has on your everyday life. Through professional treatment, you can eventually become less and less aware of that ringing and get back to enjoying your life.
Don’t let that ringing in your ears keep you from doing all the things you love. If you’d like help treating your tinnitus, give us a call today. Our audiologists would love to help you get back to living your life and living it to the fullest.