Does a constant chirping, whirring, buzzing or ringing noises in your ears keep you up at night or prevent you from performing your daily activities? This symptom is known as tinnitus, and it can briefly cause minor frustration or become a major source of distress depending on the severity.
You don’t have to live with tinnitus. See the audiologists at Sonik Hearing Care Services to obtain a diagnosis and review your tinnitus management options.
Causes Of Tinnitus
Tinnitus can be caused by many issues. In fact, tinnitus is actually considered a symptom of a larger health issue. Common issues associated with tinnitus include:
- Stress and depression
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noises
- Ototoxic medications
- Earwax buildup or blockages
- Abnormal bone growth
- Meniere’s Disease
- Head or neck injuries
- Benign tumors
Diagnosing tinnitus often requires a complete medical examination. It is important for our audiologists to understand a patient’s medical history, current medication use and other factors, such as family health history and current lifestyle, to help narrow down the cause of the tinnitus.
Tinnitus Management Options:
Tinnitus management is not one-size-fits all. Your audiologist will help you find the right combination of techniques to help manage your tinnitus symptoms. Some current options include:
Tinnitus and hearing loss
Many times, chronic tinnitus is a symptom of undiagnosed hearing loss. As you gradually lose your ability to hear, the brain is starved for auditory input. When the brain loses stimulation from the sounds of everyday life, it often creates a phantom noise to fill the void.
Wearing hearing aids provides the auditory stimulation your brain needs. Once the input is restored to more normal levels, the tinnitus may recede or disappear altogether. A complete diagnostic audiological evaluation by an audiologist can determine if your tinnitus is being caused by hearing loss.
It can be hard to focus on voices and conversations when annoying tinnitus noises interfere. Sometimes the brain just needs a little distraction.
Sonik Hearing Care Services offers hearing aids with tinnitus masking features. These special hearing aids amplify sound to increase auditory stimulation and provide a masking sound like white noise to distract the brain.
Masking devices don’t completely cover the tinnitus sounds. This enables the wearer to gradually become habituated to the tinnitus, so they no longer hear the noise. In addition to wearable masking devices, bedside masking devices are also available. These are used when the tinnitus sounds are louder at night and prevent you from getting the deep sleep your body needs.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) allows you to learn to cope with tinnitus so that it is no longer a problem. If your tinnitus is triggered or caused by stress, TRT may also help you learn to cope with stress.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy combines wearing a programmed hearing aid and psychological therapy. Your hearing devices create noise to distract you from tinnitus, and psychological therapy includes deep relaxation and stress-reducing exercises.