Have you ever experienced a whooshing, buzzing, ringing or whirring in your ears – but couldn’t find an external sound that was causing it? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience this condition – known as tinnitus – every day.
Whether intermittent or constant, tinnitus can have a detrimental impact on your overall wellbeing and happiness. While it can vary in severity, sounds and frequency, the results are still the same: negative consequences on your quality of life. That’s because tinnitus is actually a symptom of some underlying, more significant health condition. Tinnitus can be caused by myriad issues, including:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noises
- Ear and sinus infections
- Meniere’s disease
- Heart or blood vessel issues
- Brain tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Ototoxic medications
- Hormonal changes
In addition to the causes above, unhealthy lifestyle choices linked to alcohol, diet and smoking have also been associated with an increased risk and extended reports of tinnitus.
While no single cure for tinnitus exists, there are many workable solutions for the underlying causes. For example, common tinnitus treatments include:
- Hearing aids: When tinnitus occurs concurrently with hearing loss, wearing properly-fitted hearing aids can cure the tinnitus.
- Change in medication: Fixing tinnitus can be as easy as avoiding or changing a specific medication. Consider talking with your pharmacist or primary care physician to see if you may be taking an ototoxic medication and discuss if an alternative is available.
- White noise machines: Sometimes, the tinnitus doesn’t go away; however, it can be masked with white noise machines that can make living with tinnitus easier. Running white noise machines in the background can help distract or diminish the tinnitus symptoms.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT): For more challenging cases of tinnitus that aren’t solved with hearing aids or a change in medication, patients can receive TRT. This treatment is typically used in tandem with hearing aids and teaches a person to respond, rather than react, to their tinnitus and establish positive approaches to dealing with tinnitus-related stress, anxiety and frustration.
At Arkansas Professional Hearing Care, we want to help you live your best life, which means free of tinnitus. You can talk with our audiologist to learn more about your treatment options and we will work to find the best methods of relief we can for your individual situation.