What is Tinnitus?
Many people have heard ringing in their ears at one time or another, however, 10-15% of the adult population suffers from tinnitus and 70-85% of the hearing-impaired population report tinnitus (Henry, Dennis, & Schechter, 2005). Tinnitus is the ringing, buzzing, or chirping sound in your ears or head that does not have an outside source. The sound sensation that people experience is not a disease, however it can be a symptom.
What causes Tinnitus?
Anything that causes hearing loss can also cause tinnitus. Ringing in the ears can be due to exposure to loud noise. Loud noise can damage the hair cells in the inner ear, which can result in hearing loss and/or tinnitus. Other causes of tinnitus can include injury to the head and neck, various diseases, certain tumours, cardiovascular disease, too much wax in the ear, stress, prescription drugs. In many cases the cause is unknown. Ringing in the ears can also be a symptom of hearing loss.
What about alternative methods to treat ringing in the ears?
Alternative methods can include: acupuncture, hypnosis, vitamins, herbs, and homeopathy. None of these methods have been shown by research to help people with their ringing or buzzing in their ears.
What should I do about my Tinnitus?
It is important to talk to your family physician about the ringing in your ears. Schedule a complete hearing evaluation with a registered Audiologist since tinnitus can be a symptom of hearing loss. There is no cure for tinnitus, however, there are many methods for managing reactions to ringing sensation in your ears. Your Audiologist can recommend different treatment options for you, such as tinnitus management. The goal of tinnitus management is for the person to feel less stressed about their tinnitus, to almost never think about the ringing in their ears and to feel like the ringing is not much of a problem. Treatment options can include use of sound machines, masking devices or hearing aids. Many patients who have hearing loss and tinnitus discover that hearing aids alone are all they need to successfully manage the ringing sensation in their ears. Numerous studies have shown that amplification can alleviate the effects of tinnitus (Kochkin & Tyler, 2008; Searchfield, et al., 2010; Bo, & Ambrosetti, 2007).
For more information, please contact HEARING HEALTHCARE of East Gwillimbury to book a complimentary hearing test
Call (905) 478-2929
Canadian Tinnitus Foundation http://www.findthecurenow.org/
Bo, D. L., & Ambrosetti, U. (2007). Hearing aids for the treatment of tinnitus. Progress in Brain Research, 166, 341-345.
Henry, J. A., Dennis, K. C., & Schechter, M. A. (2005). General review of tinnitus: Prevalence, mechanisms, effects, and management. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48, 1204-1235.
Kochkin, S., & Tyler, R. (2008). Tinnitus treatment and the effectiveness of hearing aids: Hearing care professional perceptions. Hearing Review, 15, 14-18.
Searchfield, G. D., Kaur, M., & Martin, W. H. (2010). Hearing aids as an adjunct to counseling: Tinnitus patients who choose amplification do better than those that don’t. International Journal of Audiology, 49, 574-579.