5 Facts About Tinnitus

Have you ever experienced buzzing, hissing, clicking or ringing in your ears? If so, you’re not alone! Known as tinnitus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 15% of the general public experience it in one form or another. That’s over 50 million Americans! 

What is Tinnitus

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) defines tinnitus as “the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. Tinnitus can be both an acute (temporary) condition or a chronic (ongoing) health malady.” 

Many people experience short bursts of tinnitus. This is known as acute tinnitus. Often this is after exposure to loud noise, such as a rock concert. These cases tend to resolve themselves after a few days. 

Tinnitus is considered chronic if symptoms have persisted for longer than three months. Chronic tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss. 

Types of Tinnitus

Generally speaking, there are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. 

  • Subjective Tinnitus – This is the most common form of tinnitus. It manifests with ear or head noises that only the individual can hear. More than 99% of reported tinnitus cases are subjective tinnitus. 
  • Objective Tinnitus – This is a form of tinnitus where the ear or head noises can be heard by other people. This form of tinnitus is usually caused by internal functions in the body, such as blood flow. It’s very rare, accounting for only 1% of reported cases. 

5 Facts about Tinnitus 

  1. Tinnitus is very common. In fact, up to 50 million Americans have reportedly experienced some form of tinnitus. 
  2. Different people will report hearing different sounds. The most commonly reported sounds include: ringing, clicking, buzzing, whooshing, or hissing. 
  3. Tinnitus can have a number of causes. The most common cause is hearing loss. Other causes of tinnitus can include: illness, medication, a blockage, and more
  4. Tinnitus is the number one disability for veterans. Prolonged exposure to excessive noise is believed to be a key contributing factor. 
  5. There is currently no cure for tinnitus. However, depending on the type of tinnitus you have, treating the underlying condition can help relieve symptoms. 

Interested in hearing common tinnitus sounds? Check out this list of samples put together by The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) here.

Trust the Experts at Regional Hearing and Balance Center 

Up to 90% of tinnitus is caused by hearing loss. Seeking treatment for the hearing loss can help reduce symptoms. Find out how the hearing healthcare experts at Regional Hearing and Balance Center can help. Contact us today to request your appointment with our hearing care professionals.

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