What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus refers to a ringing in the ears when no other sound is present. Tinnitus can sound like hissing, roaring, pulsing, whooshing, chirping, whistling, or clicking. Have you experienced ringing in the ears? You’re not alone. Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced brief periods of mild ringing or other sounds in the ear.
What Causes Tinnitus?
One of the main causes for tinnitus may be due to noise exposure – for example machinery or amplified music. Also, aging, head injuries, and even medications can be a factor. For some, it’s a minor annoyance, and for others, it can result in serious issues, such as sleep disruption, inability to concentrate, employment challenges, or depression. In addition to noise exposure, tinnitus can be caused by head injury, hypertension, and stress. Knowing more about the causes of tinnitus can be a great relief. You can take charge by anticipating, preventing, and changing situations that make your tinnitus worse.
How Can Tinnitus Be Treated?
The first step to relief is having your hearing evaluated by your audiologist. Since tinnitus can be associated with a number of hearing-related conditions, a hearing evaluation can help provide information about the cause and treatment options for you. Tinnitus management can include biofeedback, hypnosis, electrical stimulation, relaxation therapy, counseling, habituation therapies, tinnitus maskers, or sound machines.
Other methods of home therapy include the use of sound machines, fish tanks, fans, low-volume music, and indoor waterfalls. Today there are even applications for portable media players (iPod or MP3 players) that offer a variety of masking sounds that may reduce the annoyance of tinnitus. If you are currently wearing hearing aids, there are adjustments that can be made to improve tinnitus.
How Can I Take Control?
Tinnitus can be stressful because it can be difficult to describe, predict, and manage. Self-help groups are available in many communities for sharing information and coping strategies for living with tinnitus. Often a self-help group or counseling from your audiologist can promote feelings of hope and control. Members of the group share strategies they have found successful in dealing with their tinnitus. With support and a community, people with tinnitus usually find that they can cope.
If you have any further questions regarding tinnitus, contact us at Los Gatos Audiology. We’ve served the Bay Area for over 40 years to provide the right solution for Your Life. Your Style.
Los Gatos Audiology 430 Monterey Ave. Ste. 3, Los Gatos, CA 95030
For an appointment please call (408) 354-5253 www.losgatosaudiology.com