Tinnitus affects one in five people worldwide. Constant noise or ringing in the ear that only the sufferer can hear is the main issue, although there are many other symptoms. Tinnitus is different for every person affected, so treatment options from Pacific Audiology Clinic are personalized per individual. It is not age specific, and currently has no cure. But there are effective treatment options that makes living with the symptoms much more bearable.
What are tinnitus symptoms?
Symptoms vary since they are linked to whatever underlying condition caused tinnitus. That is why there is short term and long-term tinnitus symptoms. Most of the problems with the condition affect concentration and are considered more of an annoyance. The pitch of the phantom noise can be low or high, coming and going at random intervals. The symptoms are more noticeable in a quiet setting or when the mind is trying to relax. Common sounds heard in the ear by tinnitus sufferers are listed below.
- Objective tinnitus - is rare but can be heard by other people
What causes tinnitus?
Inner ear damage is one of the main causes of tinnitus. It can happen with an accident, head injury or even through old age (cell deterioration). With age related tinnitus, it’s usually tied to normal hearing loss so has less severe symptoms. Hearing loss in general has a strong relationship with tinnitus, and the loss of normal hearing can trigger a minor case of it. Temporary symptoms of tinnitus are curable when the cause is dealt with. Earwax blockage, waterlogged ears and exposure to loud sounds are the culprits of temporary symptoms, but they can also lead to long-term problems. Sometimes, tinnitus is a sign of a more serious conditions like Meniere’s disease, tumors or head injuries.
During the examination, a doctor will test the ears, head and neck. All three of these areas hold valuable information into the cause of tinnitus. Temporary symptoms can be dealt with where appropriate, but long-term conditions need special treatment.
- Hearing aids – Hearing aids are one of the most popular treatment options for tinnitus because they can be equipped with noise-masking features to combat the constant ringing or buzzing. They can be programmed to work for individuals with or without hearing loss.
- Noise Suppression – Suppressing the sounds caused by tinnitus is accomplished with the help of a small device. Options are masking devices, hearing aids and white noise machines. Tinnitus retraining devices also exist and accomplish the same goal. With a dedicated professional and tinnitus retraining therapy, patients learn to focus on natural sounds instead of the symptomatic noise.