Many people develop a hearing condition known as tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing in the ears when there is no actual sound being generated. The condition is a medical phenomenon in which the brain perceives the inner ear sending electronic sound signals when there are no sounds. Tinnitus is usually associated with age-related hearing loss where tiny follicles in the inner ear that transmit signals have degenerated.
There are other conditions of injury and disease that can cause tinnitus symptoms. Tissue and nerves affected can send a wrong signal. The condition can be in one ear or both and can be constant or intermittent.
Tinnitus is graded like hearing loss, from mild to profound. Many people are able to deal with tinnitus and it does not disrupt their daily lives. This is based on the fact that for many people, the brain interprets constant sound as background noise, relegating it to a signal of least importance.
This is not always the case. Many people are debilitated by tinnitus and need specific therapies to learn to deal with it or rather to train their brains to recognize tinnitus as background noise.
Treatments for tinnitus
Hearing aids are the most widely recommended treatment for tinnitus. Whether or not you have hearing loss, these devices can be equipped with masking features to help your brain override the sounds you hear. In the event you do have hearing loss, getting hearing aids can sometimes resolve tinnitus if it was connected to your decline in hearing.
The most common therapy for tinnitus is creating a background (or foreground) noise that combats the effect. Playing music and watching television are examples of actively putting other noise into the foreground. White noise machines while sleeping can mask tinnitus effectively.
Some medications can cause tinnitus, usually temporarily. Certain steroids and non-steroids, cancer medications, antibiotics and antidepressants have been known to cause some degree of tinnitus.
Tinnitus retraining therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are both used to help people deal with severe tinnitus. They involve teaching the brain to have less stress or milder reaction to the perceived noise. Contact Sandia Hearing Aids today for answers to questions about tinnitus. The sooner you start, the sooner we can find a treatment to provide you relief for your tinnitus symptoms.