We live in a fast-paced world. While this is great when you can order something online and it shows up on our doorstep the next day, it is a hindrance in the medical community. Many people expect their issues to be treated as soon as they are identified. Unfortunately, this is not realistic. So, is there a tinnitus cure?
A symptom like tinnitus is one that is affected by this immediate gratification mentality. Before a treatment plan can be put together, your audiologist must first try to figure out the cause.
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a ringing in the ear when there is no noise present. Since tinnitus is typically a symptom of an underlying condition or a side effect, it is quite common; almost 20 percent of individuals in Cedar Park and around the country report some degree of tinnitus.
Most report hearing a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing at various pitches. The sensation is usually only in one ear and can be present all the time or can come and go Additional symptoms include:
- Sleep problems
- Memory problems
There are two kinds of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective is the most common type and it is tinnitus only you can hear. Objective tinnitus is rarer and can be heard by your doctor during an examination.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can result from a number of conditions. It is most often associated with:
- Noise exposure
- Foreign objects in the ears.
Some causes like a medication or an object in the ear can be treated and lead to your tinnitus being cured. For most, the exact cause may be a mystery or the condition responsible for tinnitus may be untreatable. In this instance, your audiologist will craft a treatment plan that is focused on making the tinnitus less bothersome.
Tinnitus Treatment Techniques
For the majority of people in Cedar Park, their audiologist will recommend one of the following treatment options.
White Noise Therapy
is the most popular treatment. White noise is a distribution of random sound frequencies across the hearing spectrum, which draws the brain’s attention away from the distracting background noise. This allows you to tune out the tinnitus. Special electronic devices designed to transmit white noise can be used, but you can achieve the same effect by using an air conditioner, fan or humidifier.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
is a newer approach that combines counseling and education with sound therapy. You will learn about the causes and effects of your tinnitus and different strategies for coping, as well as how to rely on low-level sound generators that produce soft tonal patterns that encourage the brain to shift its focus away from the sounds associated with tinnitus.
Another useful tool in treating tinnitus is the use of hearing aids. If you already wear a device, your Cedar Park audiologist will recommend simply turning up the volume to mask distracting background noises.
Some patients report positive results using natural remedies such as gingko biloba, zinc or niacin, though clinical studies are inconclusive.
For most, their tinnitus will not be curable. But this does not mean that your tinnitus cannot be treated. Contact your Cedar Park audiologist to learn more.