Tinnitus is the perception of sound not caused by a source outside of your body. While it is commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” people with tinnitus report a variety of sounds, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 50 million Americans (or 15% of the general public) experience a form of tinnitus. Of these, 20 million suffer from chronic tinnitus. Two million people experience extreme, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms of tinnitus.
If you suffer from tinnitus, you may wonder what treatment options are available. While there is no known cure for tinnitus, you will be happy to know that you may experience relief from the symptoms.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus has multiple causes, and a number of factors can worsen or trigger tinnitus symptoms. These include:
- Hearing loss: The Hearing Health Foundation notes that on average, 90% of individuals who experience tinnitus also have a hearing loss.
- Loud noise: If you’ve been in a really loud environment like a nightclub, you may have walked away feeling like your ears are muffled. In some cases, you may also experience tinnitus after exposure to loud noise.
- Ototoxic medications: Some medications can be harmful to your inner ear. These are known as ototoxic medication. For more information about ototoxic medications, refer to this guide by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association here. Remember, it’s important for you to disclose any medication that you’re taking to your general health practitioner. They’ll know more about potential drug-interactions, and can answer any questions you may have about the impact of medications on your hearing health.
- Auditory conditions: Certain hearing conditions, such as Ménière’s disease, are known to cause tinnitus. In some cases, treating the underlying condition helps to provide relief from tinnitus symptoms.
- Health conditions: Tinnitus has been linked to a number of health conditions. These include: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), thyroid issues, and more. If your tinnitus has been ongoing for more than 2 weeks, we recommend booking an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to help rule out any underlying medical condition.
Can A Hearing Aid Cure Tinnitus?
There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are ways that symptoms can be minimized. Given how many cases of tinnitus are associated with a hearing loss, treating the hearing loss with hearing aids may also help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
Depending on your hearing loss, you may also be able to use specialist hearing aids designed for your hearing needs. These advanced hearing devices can amplify only those sounds you need help with. This can also help lessen tinnitus symptoms.
Have Questions? Need Help? Contact Us Today!
If you have tinnitus, book in a complimentary hearing assessment with the hearing care professionals at Regional Hearing and Balance Center. Our team will establish your baseline hearing, and determine if hearing aids are the right choice for you. Call 208-497-3596 today, or click here to book an appointment online.