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What is Tinnitus?

Do you hear a persistent ringing, buzzing, hissing, clicking or whooshing noise that no one else hears? That’s called tinnitus, and you aren’t alone. Over 16 million people seek treatment for tinnitus each year.

These constant or intermittent sounds are heard only by the person experiencing the tinnitus, but can sometimes be detected by a hearing professional. Some people have problems sleeping when they have tinnitus, because they feel as though their brain never “shuts off.”

Causes of tinnitus

Tinnitus can be caused by a wide variety of things ranging from too much aspirin to head injury. If the cause is temporary, such as an infection or a buildup of earwax, the condition may be resolved easily. The most effective tinnitus treatment for you will depend on the underlying cause of your tinnitus.

Tinnitus treatments

Depending on the cause of your tinnitus, there are a number of different treatment methods available to help you find relief. In finding the right resolution for you, our audiologist will assess the severity of your tinnitus, symptoms, impact on your daily life and possible causes.

One of these courses of actions may be recommended:

  • Address the problem: If your tinnitus is due to earwax build up, medication or infection, they’ll recommend the proper course to resolve the issue. This may include removing the earwax, switching medications or antibiotics.
  • White noise machines: If your tinnitus isn’t as severe or only experienced at night time, a white noise machine may be ideal for helping you find relief. White noise machines produce a steady sound to help mask the tinnitus noises you hear.
  • Hearing aids: The most common cause of tinnitus is undiagnosed hearing loss. When auditory input is limited, the brain “fills in the gaps.” By restoring auditory input, the tinnitus may subside or be eliminated. Even if hearing loss isn’t present, hearing aids are often a successful treatment method, because they can be equipped with a masking feature to offer relief from unwanted noise. 
  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT): Tinnitus retraining therapy is a combination of behavioral therapy and sound therapy. The treatment that retrains how your brain perceives tinnitus and how you react to it. Over time, the brain learns to treat tinnitus as background noise and ignore it.

For continued relief, it’s important that you manage any underlying health problems that contribute to your tinnitus.

If you are suffering from tinnitus, schedule an appointment for an evaluation today.