Constant and annoying ringing in the ears is only one manifestation of tinnitus. It can also sound like a nearly deafening roar, incessant clicking or a life-sapping hiss, whistle or whine. And it’s something that about 25 million Americans have to live with. Most often, it is associated with hearing loss, but it’s actually more complex than that. It also involves abnormal neurological activity inside of the auditory system and sectors of the brain controlling attention and emotions—which is another reason tinnitus can be so emotionally draining and difficult to live with.
Tinnitus can make life nearly unbearable, what with the nearly constant trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and headaches. It can also cause anxiety and stress to build up in your life. And sadly, while there is not, as yet, a complete cure for tinnitus, there are several different sound solutions that can make life much, much better again.
If ringing in the ears (or any other incessant, loud noise) is taxing your nerves, call Hearing Health Solutions today at 888-638-5095 to schedule audiometric testing.
How Did I Get Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is famous for following rock bands, roadies and their audiences. This is because frequent exposure to very loud environments is one of the main causes of this hearing and neurological disturbance. But it could just as easily be caused by working in a factory or in loud city or traffic conditions without proper ear protection. Here are some other potential causes of tinnitus:
- Ear infections
- Other forms of hearing loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Certain medications (more than 200 different “ototoxic” can have tinnitus as a side effect, including aspirin)
- Lyme disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Ear wax buildup
Because there are so many potential causes behind tinnitus, and so many different manifestations of the problem, comprehensive audiometric testing is essential to getting to the root of your ringing, roaring or hissing so that a successful treatment regimen can bring you some relief.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Tinnitus
Scheduling an appointment for a complete battery of hearing tests with one of our Columbus audiologists is your first step to answers about your tinnitus. In addition to the audiometric testing that will enable us to determine levels of hearing loss, a complete medical history will help us get to the root causes of your auditory distress. Once we figure out why your ears are ringing, whining or clicking, we can try a number of different tinnitus treatments to bring you relief. Everybody responds differently to these treatments, so it may take a few tries to find the treatment or combination of treatments that works best for your situation. Some successful tinnitus relief treatments include:
- Hearing aids—Because tinnitus is most often connected with hearing loss, getting the right pair of hearing aids can often solve two problems simultaneously: helping you hear better while also masking the tinnitus.
- Maskers—These small devices look similar to hearing aids, but they are simply designed to make sounds that cancel out the tinnitus to some degree without necessarily doing anything to accentuate your hearing. They can be helpful for some people, but might also make understanding speech difficult.
- White Noise—Many tinnitus sufferers find relief, at least at bedtime, with radios, fans or other sound generators that make white noise that masks the tinnitus, thereby helping them get some much-needed sleep.
- Drug Therapies—Trying alternative medications that are less likely to cause hearing problems, or also prescribing medications to relieve the anxiety and emotional stress involved with tinnitus may provide some relief.
- Talk Therapy—Tinnitus has a very strong emotional component because it can exacerbate anxiety and depression in sufferers in a vicious-cycle sort of way. After reviewing your case, we may recommend or refer you to a counselor or psychiatrist for assistance. This has been enormously helpful for many people with ringing in the ears.
- Neuromonics Tinnitus Therapy—For the majority of tinnitus sufferers, this combination treatment is the most successful, though it takes the longest amount of time to implement (about 6 months). It brings together hearing aids, counseling and a variety of noise-masking strategies to manage and eventually reduce your sensitivity to tinnitus.
The first step to getting relief for your tinnitus is to get the appointment for tinnitus testing.
Relief from Tinnitus Starts with a Phone Call
With so many possible ways to relieve tinnitus, there’s no reason to keep losing sleep or suffering throughout your day with a constant and distracting din of noise in your ears. We can help you find a way to quiet the noise. Just call us at 888-638-5095 today and schedule an appointment for testing at any one of our six locations in the Columbus area.