Have you been hearing a ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound in your ears? Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy. This phantom sound is tinnitus, and approximately 15% of Americans experience this condition. It can be a daily annoyance in your life, or something you only hear from time to time. Whatever the case may be, learn more about the tinnitus treatment options available, and find relief from tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition in which you hear a phantom sound when there are no external sounds around you. While tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears, it is a different experience for everyone. Your tinnitus may seem like a ringing, roaring, whistling, buzzing, clicking or hissing sound. You can experience tinnitus in one or both ears, and it might sound like it’s coming from far away or close by. Mild tinnitus may not bother you very much, or only be heard a few times a week. Severe tinnitus, on the other hand, is a daily source of discomfort and stress, and interferes with your daily life.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are a number of possible causes for tinnitus, and these include:
• Hearing loss
• A head injury
• Earwax blockage in the ear canal
•Exposure to loud noises
• High blood pressure
• Meniere’s disease
• Certain medications taken in high doses
Most causes of tinnitus affect the cells in the inner ear, the same cells that are responsible for hearing. That’s why tinnitus and hearing loss often occur together.
An effective tinnitus remedy is stress management. Stress and tinnitus are in a negative cycle, where the more stressed you become, the more you’ll experience tinnitus, which will make you feel even more stressed. Breaking that cycle by reducing your stress levels will minimize your experience of tinnitus. Stress management techniques include meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, physical exercise, and anything else that lowers your stress levels.
Another tinnitus treatment option is behavioral therapy. If you have tinnitus, you’re at a higher risk of developing anxiety, insomnia, and even depression. Behavioral therapy can help you learn to deal with tinnitus in your daily life. You’ll notice the negative thought patterns and behaviors, and change these patterns. This helps you manage your stress levels, improves your quality of life, and reduces your experience of tinnitus.
Some stimulants, such as caffeine and alcohol, can aggravate your tinnitus, so avoiding these stimulants can be an effective tinnitus treatment.
Sound Maskers for Tinnitus
One of the best tinnitus treatments is using a sound masker. These sound maskers are calibrated to match the pitch and volume of your unique tinnitus. When you experience tinnitus, you can activate this sound masker, and watch as your tinnitus fades into the background. This tinnitus remedy provides relief from tinnitus, and allows you to focus on tasks, and enjoy your day without tinnitus. It will also help you get a good night’s sleep without stress. Sound maskers can provide relief from tinnitus using a number of different sounds, including pink noise, brown noise, white noise, nature sounds, or even music.
Hearing aids are often equipped with sound masking programs, so if you have both hearing loss and tinnitus, you can treat hearing loss and tinnitus with one set of devices. The sound masking program in the hearing aid will be calibrated to match your experience of tinnitus, and you can turn it on at any point when your tinnitus is interfering with your day.
At Clear Hearing and Audiology, we provide tinnitus counseling and offer advice on tinnitus remedies. If you’ve been experiencing tinnitus, call us to schedule an appointment. We’ll discuss your unique tinnitus, perform a hearing test, and suggest effective tinnitus treatment options. You can learn more about our hearing devices that have tinnitus therapy programs, or get fitted for a tinnitus masker. We may also refer you to another specialist as needed.