Michigan Avenue Hearing Health can help diagnose and relieve Tinnitus symptoms
Ringing or buzzing noises in your ear might be coming from an internal source, rather than an external one. It might be Tinnitus. If so, we can help. Schedule an appointment at our downtown office on Michigan Avenue to meet with one of our expert staff who specializes in tinnitus relief.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus or “ringing in the ears” is a common problem that can effect people of all ages. Tinnitus refers to a ringing, hissing, or buzzing sound in one or both ears when no external sound is present. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 50 million Americans suffer from some form of tinnitus. The condition is not technically considered a disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem such as hearing loss due to age or injury to the ear or a circulation problem.
The condition commonly occurs with hearing loss and may be caused by exposure to loud noise or can accompany hearing loss due to a virus in the inner ear, a middle ear infection, or wax impaction in the outer ear canal. This condition can also be caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues or certain types of tumors or as a side effect from some medicines such as aspirin.
What are the Origins of Tinnitus?
According to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus may result from damage to inner ear hair cells, which are very sensitive to sound waves. Irregularities in these hair cells can cause abnormal electrical impulses to the brain, triggering tinnitus. This condition can also sometimes develop as a symptom to a larger medical issue, such as poor blood circulation, high blood pressure or irregular muscular contractions. Head injuries have also been known to trigger symptoms.
Is the Condition Treatable?
Yes. Both the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) recommend that sufferers of this condition start by obtaining a hearing evaluation from an audiologist, who may then recommend a tinnitus test and refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist, if necessary.
The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) reports that there are “well-established tools and treatments that can significantly reduce the perceived burden of tinnitus. With perseverance and support from trained healthcare professionals, these options can help tinnitus patients — even those with severe cases of the condition.” Treatments may include: Habituation, Sound Therapy, Stress Reduction & Relaxation, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), Ear Level Sound Generators, Hearing Aids, Environment Noise Generators, Fractal Tone Sound Generator for Relaxation and Habituation, High Fidelity Ear Protection for Damaging Noise Exposure, Ototoxic Medication Awareness, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
There are also patients who suffer from sound sensitivity, who may also experience tinnitus. For example, hyperacusis can be caused by exposure to a single loud noise or exposure to loud noises over a prolonged period of time. Treatments include, sound desensitization, hearing protection, relaxation techniques and ear massage.