Tinnitus Overview

Tinnitus is defined as the perception of a ringing, buzzing, or other types of sound in the ears that may or may not be externally audible. Although it can be a symptom of many underlying conditions, it is often difficult to diagnose and treat. The side effects of tinnitus can be mild to severe, with the accompanying sounds being soft or intense, and their duration can be sustained or intermittent. This also makes it a minor annoyance for some yet totally debilitating for others. Regardless, tinnitus has major implications on quality of life.
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What Causes Tinnitus?

The cause of tinnitus varies from person to person but is most often caused by damage to the inner ear due to exposure to loud noises, such as those in construction sites or factories. Tinnitus can be caused by many different things, such as head trauma, ear infections, certain medications, stress, and wax buildup in the ears. Other causes include age-related hearing loss, stress, sinus infections, Meniere's disease, blocked arteries in the neck or head area, and jaw misalignment (TMJ). In some cases, there is no identifiable cause for tinnitus, and it can last indefinitely. It is important to consult our team at HEAR4U if you experience any prolonged symptoms of tinnitus so that they can isolate underlying causes and provide appropriate treatment.

Types of Tinnitus

There are two main types of tinnitus: subjective and objective.
Subjective tinnitus occurs when only the individual with the condition hears the sound in their ears - no one else around them can hear it. Objective Tinnitus can occur when an actual attenuation of sound caused by a physical abnormality is present, causing a patient to recognize the occurrence. Specialized equipment and training can help to determine and confirm the level and severity of objective tinnitus.

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Treatment Options for Tinnitus

The first step in treating tinnitus is identifying its underlying causes. Once this has been done, treatment options vary depending on the source and severity of the condition. Common treatments include lifestyle modifications (such as avoiding loud noises), medications (such as antidepressants), counseling (to help manage stress levels), hearing aids (to improve hearing capacity), and masking devices (which produce white noise to help reduce the perception of ringing). Other highly effective therapies include Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In some cases, surgery may also be recommended to address any physical abnormalities that could be contributing to tinnitus symptoms.

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by persistent ringing in the ears that can be challenging to diagnose and treat effectively due to its wide range of potential causes. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for those who suffer from tinnitus which may help reduce their symptoms or even eliminate them entirely. If you think you might have tinnitus or are experiencing persistent ringing in your ears, make sure to discuss your symptoms with our team at HEAR4U, so that we can help you identify what's causing them and suggest appropriate treatments accordingly.
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