Do you suffer from tinnitus? If so, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 15% of the American public suffers from tinnitus. That may not sound like a lot, but these statistics average out to over 45 million Americans nationwide!
If you suffer from tinnitus symptoms, the experts at North Shore Hearing P.C. can help. As local hearing specialists, we offer solutions for all ranges of tinnitus. Our goal is to help you reclaim your life and get back to whatever you enjoy doing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at North Shore Hearing P.C. today to learn how we can help your tinnitus symptoms.
What Is Tinnitus?
Have you ever heard a consistently irritating sound before without being able to find the source? If so, you could have some form of tinnitus. Tinnitus is a ringing, hissing, swooshing, or buzzing sound in the ear that can last from 16 to 48 hours in duration. In more extreme cases, the effects can last up to one or two weeks. Tinnitus can be both a chronic (ongoing) condition or an acute (temporary) health ailment. In general, there are two different types of tinnitus:
Subjective Tinnitus is when ear or head noises are audible only to the patient. Subjective tinnitus is traceable to neurological and auditory reactions to hearing loss; however, sometimes other factors can play a role as well. This type of tinnitus is what affects more than 99% of those who suffer from the condition.
Objective Tinnitus is when ear or head noises are audible to other people in addition to the patient. This phenomenon is usually produced by internal functions in the body, either by the somatic (movement of voluntary muscles) or the circulatory (blood flow) system. This type of tinnitus is extremely rare, accounting for less than 1% of all known cases.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is caused by damage to the cochlea, tiny sensory hair cells that are in the inner ear. Although this usually happens to people as they grow older, it can also come about as a result of prolonged exposure to loud noises. There are even some cases that have stemmed from high levels of emotional stress.
Often, hearing loss coincides with tinnitus. It should be noted that tinnitus isn’t a condition itself, but rather an underlying condition that stems from ear injury, age-related hearing loss, or a circulatory system disorder. Additional causes of tinnitus include:
- Loud noise. If you’ve been exposed to explosions, gunshots, loud music, or other loud sources of noise, you may suffer from tinnitus.
- Medication. Certain medicines seem to have tinnitus side effects.
- Injury to the neck, ears, or head
- Earwax blockage
- Degeneration of bones in the middle ear
- Upper respiratory infections
- Jaw popping joint (TMJ)
Getting your hearing tested regularly is a great way of monitoring your ears to see whether or not it is something you are experiencing or prone to.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
Tinnitus and hearing loss typically go hand in hand. In fact, a sobering 80% of people with tinnitus also suffer from hearing loss. The hearing loss may impact the signals sent from the ear to the brain, which results in unwarranted activity in the brain called tinnitus. Although tinnitus doesn’t necessarily cause hearing loss, the distracting sounds can make it difficult to hear and concentrate on other sounds. Because of this fact, hearing aids are regularly used to treat hearing loss as well as tinnitus.
Managing Your Tinnitus
While there is no cure for tinnitus, North Shore Hearing P.C. offers several options for managing the condition. Our management approaches are proven to help reduce symptoms and provide relief.
Hearing Aids for Tinnitus
One key approach we use at North Shore are hearing aids. Hearing aids for tinnitus are unique because they have a built-in therapy signal to help combat the tinnitus noise. These signals can be programmed to natural sounds (i.e. ocean waves) or static sounds (i.e. white noise) depending on what the patient prefers. It’s important to speak to an audiologist before purchasing a specialized hearing aide to treat tinnitus.
Sound therapy involves using external noises to help mask the bothersome tinnitus sounds. Whether it’s low-level music, specialized ear masking noises, or white noise, this approach helps you shift your focus away from the tinnitus sounds. Your hearing specialist at North Shore will help you find the best hearing aids for tinnitus with sound therapy to give you the highest level of relief.
In addition, we’ll work closely with you to determine lifestyle changes you can implement to find the highest level of comfort. For example, if you’re finding stress brings on your tinnitus or makes it worse, we will help you find ways to properly deal with the stress. At the same time, we’ve found that quitting smoking and getting adequate sleep can help fight tinnitus symptoms.
Contact North Shore to Control Your Tinnitus
At North Shore, we take a holistic approach to treating tinnitus. We will work closely with you to create a program based on your unique needs that is driven by success.
Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today for tinnitus relief.