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Tinnitus Therapy

bell2Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of corresponding external sound. It is most often a subjective noise, meaning that only the person experiencing tinnitus can hear it. Many people describe it as a buzzing, ringing, static, screeching or roaring sensation. About 50 million Americans experience tinnitus. Most important to remember is that nearly everyone will experience ringing in their ears at one time in their life or another, but it can affect people differently. Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom resulting from a range of underlying causes. Recent advances have been made in helping the person affected by tinnitus.

Tinnitus may be caused by different parts of the hearing system. At times, for instance, it may be caused by excessive ear wax, especially if the wax touches the ear drum, causing pressure and changing how the ear drum vibrates. Other times, loose hair from the ear canal may come in contact with the ear drum and cause tinnitus.

Other Causes include:

Hearing loss
Ear/ Sinus infections
Foreign objects or cerumen (wax) in the ear
Nose allergies which produce fluid drainage
Noise exposure
Injuries to the head and neck
Medications

  • High doses of aspirin
  • Antibiotics
  • Cancer medications
  • Diuretics
  • Malaria medications

Stress
Cardiovascular disease
Jaw Misalignment

Certain disorders, such as hypo- or hypothroidism, lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and throacic outlet syndrome, can have tinnitus as a symptom. When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder can help alleviate the tinnitus.

Certain types of tumors – Very rarely, people have a benign and slow-growing tumor on their auditory, vestibular, or facial nerves. These tumors can cause tinnitus, deafness, facial paralysis, and loss of balance.

Treatment of Tinnitus

Treating Tinnitus requires extensive testing, and can include x-rays, audiological tests and other laboratory work, including MRI of the inner ear. Specific causes can be difficult to identify and treatment options vary depending upon test results. They may include:

  • Masking techniques
  • Amplification (hearing aids)
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Treatment of mood problems
  • Comprehensive hearing test which assesses hearing function of the entire ear including the middle and inner ear portions.
  • Tinnitus evaluation to assess the pitch and loudness of the tinnitus.
  • Case history for overall health, hearing and tinnitus.

After these steps are taken, results are discussed and recommendations are made for appropriate tinnitus management.

For additional information, visit the American Tinnitus Association website here >>

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