Tinnitus Treatment Options

We see many patients to discuss tinnitus concerns.

Do you hear a ringing, roaring, clicking, or buzzing sound in your ears? Is this sound constant or intermittent? Does it occur in one ear or both? Does this sound bother you or make it difficult for you to fall asleep? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are likely experiencing tinnitus (pronounced "TIN-a-tus" or "Tin-EYE-tus")

Tinnitus is a symptom associated with hearing loss. It can also be a symptom of other health concerns. Approximately 45 million adults (1 in 5) experience tinnitus and in some cases the effects are so severe it interferes with daily activities. If you have tinnitus you may find it difficult to hear, work, or even sleep.

What causes tinnitus?

Hearing loss: Most people who have tinnitus also have hearing loss.

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

Medicine: There are over 200 medicines, including aspirin, which can cause tinnitus. If you have tinnitus and you take medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine could be the cause.

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

What should I do if I have tinnitus?

Call our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your tinnitus. Because tinnitus is often a symptom of hearing loss, we will test your hearing and discuss your unique history. At Heartland Hearing, you can rest assured that if we discover a medical concern regarding your tinnitus, whether during your initial consultation or at some point during your continuing follow up care, we will refer you to the appropriate ENT physician.

What are treatment options for tinnitus?

Although there is no cure for tinnitus, depending on your specific situation, we have beneficial recommendations to help provide you partial and/or complete relief. Not every treatment works for everyone, so you may need to try several to find what works for you.

Treatment can include:

Hearing aids: Most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids create a dual benefit of enhancing your hearing AND masking or covering up your tinnitus. The majority of people with tinnitus receive partial or complete relief from their tinnitus with the use of hearing aids.

Maskers: Many types of devices, such as fans, radios and sound generators are useful tinnitus maskers that help tinnitus sufferers fall asleep or get back to sleep.

Counseling: If you have tinnitus you may experience anxiety, depression and other psychiatric problems. You may be referred to a psychiatrist our counselor as needed.

Relaxing: Learning how to relax is very helpful if the noise in your ears frustrates you. Stress makes tinnitus seem worse. By relaxing, you have a chance to rest and better deal with the sound.

What can I do to help myself?

You are in control of your responses to tinnitus. Place less importance and priority on the tinnitus. Focus on sounds that help "trick your brain" to help you forget about your tinnitus. Many people find listening to music or having the TV on in the background helpful to relax. Radios, fans, TV and other sound generators can also help to mask the sound. Many people like to listen to recorded nature sounds, like ocean waves or rainfall

Avoid smoking, alcohol and loud noise, which can worsen your tinnitus. If you farm, hunt, use power tools, or if you are regularly exposed to loud noise at home or work, wear earplugs or special earmuffs to protect your hearing and keep your tinnitus from getting worse.

Click here ( learn more at the American Tinnitus Association website!