Tinnitus, the mysterious ringing sound many people get in their ears, affects many. But what is it? This week is Tinnitus Awareness Week, and is the perfect time to learn about this condition.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when you hear a sound that doesn’t have an external source, such as ringing, humming, buzzing, or chirps. About 30 million Americans have tinnitus. Of them, about 13 million people report no hearing loss. More than 25 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 84 have tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease itself, so it can have a number of causes. Tinnitus is most often caused by hearing loss, specifically damage to the inner ear. Hearing loss is often due to aging or loud noise exposure. Tinnitus can also be caused by thyroid problems, blood circulation problems, head or neck injuries, and some medications.

In addition to hearing loss, tinnitus can be a sign of ear-related problems such as wax buildup or ear infections, or even a benign tumor on the auditory nerve.

How do I prevent tinnitus?

The best way to prevent tinnitus is to avoid exposure to loud noises and to use protective hearing devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Stress management and overall wellness measures can also reduce the factors that contribute to tinnitus. Studies have shown a correlation between people’s stress levels and tinnitus. Tinnitus often worsens when people are stressed, so lowering their stress levels can also lower their tinnitus levels.

While there is no cure for tinnitus, it can be managed so it is no longer a daily problem for the patient. The most common treatments include hearing aids, sound therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Sound therapy can include sound masking devices, such as white noise or nature sound machines. It can also include modified sound devices, which provide customized sounds designed around a patient’s specific case. Cognitive behavioral therapy, meanwhile, helps patients deal with the emotional effects of tinnitus, such as the frustration of dealing with the constant noise.

While tinnitus can be aggravating, understanding it can help you learn to how to treat and deal with it so it doesn’t interfere with your daily life.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. To make an appointment with any of our audiologists or ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000.


You may also be interested in

Man receiving hearing test and ear exam for Ménière’s disease
Your Guide to Ménière’s Disease

Your dizziness and hearing loss could be due to a rare inner ear condition known as Ménière’s disease.

Read More
Man with tinnitus in the fall time
Are Your Ears Ringing This Fall?

Tinnitus is common for many people, but did you know that it can get worse in the fall?

Read More
Tinnitus causes include loud noises
Common Causes for Your Tinnitus

Is a loud, ringing noise disrupting your weekend? This condition is known as tinnitus, and it can have several potential causes.

Read More

Leave a Comment



Back to News
This website is optimized for more recent web browsers. Please consider these upgrade options: IE10+(IE10+, Chrome Chrome, Firefox Firefox.
 Schedule An Appointment