While hearing aids are excellent for boosting individual’s ability to pick up sounds beyond their reach, many do not know that these devices can enable users to become deaf to some sounds as well. Sounds that do not in reality exist at all.
This experience is usually called tinnitus, a clinical problem where the affected hear consistent sounds that generally aren’t present in their surroundings. Many tinnitus patients report the relentless noises as a buzzing, ringing, hissing, whirring, and even clicking sound, however it could be any variety of consistent noise that isn’t originating from a tangible source.
Despite the serious effects that these sounds can impose on an individual’s life and contentment, many tinnitus patients do not speak openly about it, so perhaps it’s surprising to learn that one out of every five individuals are managing some level of this particular problem. This lack of awareness and discussion is likely the result of the many questions that cannot be answered about tinnitus, due to its frequently unpredictable root cause and variations.
Just what really leads to tinnitus anyhow?
Tinnitus can arise from a lengthy list of causes, however most tinnitus problems are the consequence of damage to the ear and/or auditory system. And although hearing loss frequently goes along with tinnitus, there are more than 200 clinical problems that involve tinnitus as a symptom, in addition to a selection of other reasons.
- Aging: Just as hearing loss is a feature of growing older, tinnitus is also a factor of aging. A number of the listening devices utilized to deal with hearing loss are likewise geared to lessen and even reduce the effects of tinnitus.
- Damages: Injury or damage to the ears or auditory system is just one of one of the most typical root causes of tinnitus. This could be due to a solitary, distressing direct exposure to loud sound, or the outcome of extensive exposure to loud sounds over time. Tinnitus resulting from damage to the ear or auditory system is usually accompanied by hearing loss, and typically responds well to treatment using hearing aids.
- Blockages: As simple as it sounds, tinnitus could also be caused by a buildup of too much ear wax. Whether it’s ear wax, dust, or various other kinds of particles in the ear canal or middle ear, a cleaning by your hearing professional can greatly reduce the effects of tinnitus. It’s important to clear these blockages soon, as leaving them in the ear can result in permanent damage.
- Head and Neck Injury: Trauma to the head or neck could involve nerves and or blood vessels that can create the sounds heard with tinnitus. Typically, people who deal with tinnitus as an outcome of head or neck injuries record more variable sounds and more intense volumes.
- Sinus Blockages: Sufficient nasal blockage could change the pressure in the middle ear enough to generate ringing and whooshing in the ears. As soon as the blockage clears, the tinnitus symptoms should clear up as well.
- Ototoxic Medications: Some pharmaceutical medicines list tinnitus as a possible side effect. While numerous ototoxic medicines could cause brief tinnitus, there are also some that could produce long-term ringing in the ears. Your hearing specialist will evaluate all medicine you’re currently taking if you’re experiencing consistent tinnitus symptoms.
- Other Clinical Conditions: There is a lengthy list of clinical problems that could result in the development of tinnitus, which is why it’s important to visit your medical professional to see exactly what the reason could be, as well as what therapy options you have.
Fortunately for tinnitus patients, there are more therapy options now than ever. Many patients find relief through hearing aids specially designed to silence the relentless noises heard with tinnitus. These devices can help neutralize the tones that the tinnitus sufferers are experiencing by reducing their volume in the amplifier, and in some cases, by even training the brain to no longer register the offending sounds. And given that more than fifty percent of tinnitus patients are also experiencing hearing loss, these hearing aids are helpful for both.
Beyond hearing aids as a treatment for tinnitus, there are a wide variety of sound treatments, relaxation therapies, pharmaceuticals, and even phone applications to alleviate the pain of coping with tinnitus. While there is no complete remedy for tinnitus just yet, ongoing research along with cutting-edge techniques are bringing us closer than ever before.
Some of the most common causes of tinnitus are as follows: