Tinnitus is commonly known as the sensation of hearing a ringing sound in the ears, but it affects everyone differently. For example, while ringing is the most commonly reported sound, others hear roaring, hissing, clicking, buzzing, whooshing or whistling. For some people, tinnitus is quiet, intermittent and a nuisance, but for others it is loud, constant and debilitating.
We’ve compiled some commonly asked questions about tinnitus and answered them below.
What Causes Tinnitus?
It’s important to know that tinnitus is a symptom rather than a disease itself. This means there are many possible underlying causes. Some common ones include:
- Noise exposure
- Hearing loss
- Hormone changes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Meniere’s disease
- Thyroid abnormalities
- Certain medications
- Brain tumors
Are There Different Types of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be pulsatile or non-pulsatile. Pulsatile tinnitus is related to issues with blood flow in the head and neck. In some cases, it can be heard by a doctor using a stethoscope, and sounds like the rhythmic beat of your heart. Pulsatile tinnitus is far rarer than non-pulsatile tinnitus.
Can Tinnitus Be Cured?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus; however, there are plenty of options for managing symptoms.
- Hearing aids can be used to turn up the sounds of the world to help detract attention from your tinnitus. It is a common treatment option, as it is estimated that about 90 percent of people with tinnitus also have some level of hearing loss.
- Counseling helps you learn to cope with your tinnitus. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you identify your emotional response to tinnitus and alter it so you feel less anxious or depressed during an episode.
- Wearable sound generators are small electronic devices that look a bit like hearing aids. They provide relief by playing white noise to mask tinnitus sounds.
- Tabletop sound generators can be used at home, especially when trying to sleep. They work similarly to the wearable version, but usually have more sound options like rainfall, waterfalls and ocean waves.
- Acoustic neural stimulation is a newer technique that uses headphones to deliver broadband acoustic signal embedded in music in order to stimulate change in the neural circuits in the brain. This can help desensitize you to your tinnitus.
If you suffer from tinnitus, there is hope. Contact the experts at Chelmsford Hearing Group today to schedule an appointment.