Tinnitus is a noise heard in the head, not related to any psychiatric condition. The noise can be heard anywhere in the head or in one or both ears. To date there  is no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?

Imagine a constant ringing, buzzing or whistling in your ear,  24 hours a day. That sound is called tinnitus. Nobody else but you can hear the noise because it does not come from any external source. Although you are the only person who can hear the noise, it is not a result of your imagination.

Types of tinnitus

Tinnitus varies considerably in intensity and type. Some  describe tinnitus as a high-frequency whistling sound, while others perceive tinnitus as a buzzing noise or a sound similar to butter sizzling in a frying pan.  Others experience a thumping sound in the same rhythm as their heartbeat. Describing the characteristics of tinnitus may be important in identifying the cause. Medical providers should ask detailed questions about the sound that is heard, and how frequent, to best understand the presenting tinnitus.  

Causes of tinnitus

The causes of tinnitus vary. Tinnitus most commonly occurs in combination with hearing loss, particularly hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise(s). Tinnitus may also be caused by ototoxic medications  diseases, stress, head injuries, or be present with no known linking cause.

How many suffer from tinnitus?

Tinnitus affects over 30 million Americans on a frequent/constant basis. However, almost all of us will experience tinnitus temporarily at some point in our lives; perhaps for a few hours after a concert or any other occasion where our ears are subjected to loud noise. The majority of people who suffer from tinnitus find it very disturbing and uncomfortable.

Consequences of tinnitus

For those with severe tinnitus, they may experience side effects such as increased stress, fatigue, emotional problems and depression.

If you experience  tinnitus, hearing aids may be an appropriate treatment plan. With use of amplification and possibly the noise generator feature built into the hearing aid programming, irritation from tinnitus may be reduced dramatically. 

To learn more, contact Lakeside Audiology today.