We live in a world of two-day shipping and immediate gratification. A consequence of this is that when an issue arises, we want it treated yesterday. So what happens when you have a problem that does not have an easy to find solution? Is there an actual tinnitus cure?
The sensation of hearing a ringing in the ear when no noise is actually present. Since tinnitus is typically a symptom of an underlying condition or a side effect, it is quite common; almost 20 percent of individuals in American Fork, UT and around the country report some degree of tinnitus.
Hearing ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing at various pitches can all be symptoms of tinnitus. These symptoms can be present all the time or can come and go. Most report this sensation in only in one ear but it can affect both ears at once. Additional symptoms include:
- Sleep problems
- Memory problems
There are two kinds of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective is the most common type; it is tinnitus only you can hear. The second type of tinnitus is called objective, this type is rarer and can be heard by your doctor during an examination.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can result from a number of conditions. It is most often associated with aging, noise exposure, infections, allergies, medications, diseases or foreign objects in the ears. When the underlying cause is known, treating that condition may help stop the tinnitus from occurring. The solution may be as simple as removing excess earwax or switching to a new medication.
In some cases, the exact cause may be a mystery, or the condition responsible for tinnitus may be untreatable.
Tinnitus Treatment Techniques
The only time tinnitus can be cured is if the underlying cause can be identified. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.
For the majority of people in American Fork, their audiologist will recommend one of the following treatment options.
The most popular treatment involves the use of white noise therapy. White noise is a distribution of random sound frequencies across the hearing spectrum, which draws the brain’s attention away from the distracting background noise. This allows the patient to tune out their tinnitus. Special electronic devices designed to transmit white noise can be used, but you can achieve the same effect by using an air conditioner, fan or humidifier.
A newer approach known as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy combines counseling and education with sound therapy. The patient learns about the causes and effects of tinnitus and different strategies for coping, as well as relies on low-level sound generators that produce soft tonal patterns that encourage the brain to shift its focus away from the sounds associated with tinnitus.
Another useful tool in treating tinnitus is the use of hearing aids. Patients who wear them can simply turn up the volume to mask distracting background noises.
Some patients report positive results using natural remedies such as gingko biloba, zinc or niacin, though clinical studies are inconclusive.
While there is no tinnitus cure, it is treatable. Contact your American Fork Audiologist to learn more.