Hearing Services of Virginia

Tinnitus

Ringing, Buzzing, Whistling?
We can help.

Hearing Services of Virginia

Tinnitus

Ringing, Buzzing, Whistling?
We can help.

Are Facts about Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health problems. Roughly 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus. Some cases are so severe that it interferes with their daily activities. People with severe cases of tinnitus may find it difficult to hear, work, or even sleep.  Do you experience any of the following?

Do you hear a ringing, roaring, clicking, or hissing sound in your ears?

Does the sound in your ears make it difficult to hear, concentrate, or sleep?

Does the sound that you hear make it difficult to hear, concentrate or even sleep?

Are you the only one who can hear your tinnitus or another people hear it to?

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not a disease. It is a symptom that something is wrong in the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve, and the parts of the brain that process sound. Something as simple as a piece of earwax blocking the ear canal can cause tinnitus. But it can also be the result of a number of health conditions, such as:

Hearing Loss

Most people who have tinnitus also have hearing loss.  Tinnitus is sometimes the first sign of hearing loss, however, tinnitus does not cause hearing loss or make hearing worse.

Medicine

More than 200 medicines, including aspirin, can cause tinnitus. If you have tinnitus and you take medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine could be involved.

Loud Noise

Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss get worse.

Other Potential Causes

Allergies, tumors, problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus.

What Should You Do If You Have Tinnitus?

The first step is to see an audiologist for an evaluation. A careful history and audiometric testing will lead to the most likely causes and best treatment for your tinnitus.  If we deem it necessary, we may refer you to an ear, nose and throat examination to complete the diagnosis.

Are There Treatments for Tinnitus?

Although there is no cure for tinnitus, hearing care professionals, scientists and doctors have discovered several treatments that may give you some relief. Not every treatment works for everyone, so you may need to try several to find the ones that help. Treatments can include:

Maskers

Tinnitus maskers are tuned to generate sound that masks or covers up the tinnitus.

Drug Therapy

Certain medicines may provide relief from these emotional reactions and provide some relief from the tinnitus.

Neuromonics Tinnitus Therapy

 This treatment uses a combination of testing, counseling and specialized masking to help you manage and reduce your response to the tinnitus.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids create a dual benefit of enhancing hearing and masking or covering up the tinnitus.

Relaxing

Stress makes tinnitus seem worse. Learning how to relax is very helpful if the noise in your ears frustrates you. 

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