Tinnitus can be an enigma, with plenty of misinformation floating around. Below are the most common misconceptions about this symptom.
Tinnitus will go away on its own.
Myth: Tinnitus is a disorder that will just go away on its own.
Turns out, tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a disease itself. And for most, their tinnitus will not simply go away. Tinnitus occurs when the delicate hairs within the inner ear get damaged, usually caused by exposure to loud noises. When damaged, these hairs can send electrical impulses to your brain, which are then interpreted as sound (even though no sound is present).
The buzzing, hissing, ringing (or whatever sound your tinnitus makes) can come and go. But for most, their tinnitus will not simply go away forever.
Tinnitus can’t be treated.
Myth: There is nothing that can be done to help your tinnitus.
While most people in American Fork and around the country won’t be able to cure their tinnitus, it can be treated. Below are just a few of the most common treatment options.
- Acoustic therapy. Sounds are used to cover up, or mask, the tinnitus. This distracts your brain and helps you tune out the ringing in your ears. Electronic devices that produce white noise, air conditioners, fans, soft music, etc. can all be employed.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy. Similar in concept to acoustic therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy utilizes a portable sound generator that produces soft patterned tones to help desensitize the brain to the sounds of tinnitus.
- Hearing aids. Background sounds can mask tinnitus. Hearing aids can also help the patient better distinguish one sound from another, improving communication and helping with focus and concentration difficulties. Many devices also come packaged with noise generators to replace ambient sounds if amplification alone does not reduce tinnitus.
- Counseling. Counseling, sleep and cognitive behavioral or relaxation methods can be practical in helping you manage your tinnitus symptoms by reducing the stress, anxiety and sleeplessness that are often associated with tinnitus. Many audiologists and American Fork providers teach methods to help you manage your tinnitus symptoms.
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Are Unrelated
Myth: Tinnitus has nothing to do with hearing loss.
In fact, almost 90 percent of those with tinnitus also have hearing loss. Since many individuals with tinnitus already have a hearing aid to treat their hearing loss, a common treatment is to simply turn up the volume of the hearing aid. This helps to mask the tinnitus.
An estimated 50 million Americans have experienced tinnitus. No wonder there is so much misinformation floating around. Learn the facts. Contact your American Fork audiologist today.