It’s finally here, 2017. Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday we were having family BBQs and setting off fireworks. While January may be one of the drearier months, it is a good time to take stock of your life and determine what you can improve. If you are one of the over 50 million individuals in American Fork, Utah and throughout the United States that suffers from tinnitus, now is the time to finally make a change.
Of those 50 million Americans, 12 million have tinnitus so severe that they must seek medical attention and 2 million people have tinnitus that actually interferes with their daily activities. Those that suffer from tinnitus typically also experience fatigue, stress, sleep problems, trouble concentrating, memory problems, depression and anxiety or irritability.
In order to come up with a tinnitus management plan, your audiologist must first determine the cause. The most common cause is damage to the hair cells within the inner ear. This can be caused from age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noises and earwax blockage. Meniere’s disease, TMJ disorders, an injury to the head or neck or acoustic neuromas, while less common, can also cause tinnitus. Blood vessel disorders have been occasionally linked to tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus is also a listed side effect for more than 200 drugs, specifically antibiotics, cancer medications and diuretics.
Your American Fork audiologist will need to complete an audiological exam, a movement test and an imaging test in order to make a diagnosis. These exams are used to rule out or identify possible causes of tinnitus. If no cause is identified, your tinnitus management options will be focused on helping you reduce the severity of the tinnitus and cope with the noise.
Noise suppression, such as the use of a white noise machine, and masking devices have been found to successfully alleviate symptoms. Lifestyle changes, such as stress management and limiting your alcohol consumption, can help reduce the impact of tinnitus as well.
Making a resolution does you no good unless you act on it. Contact your American Fork audiologist to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.