Tinnitus is one of the most commonly treated audiological problems amongst patients in Aberdeen, South Bend and across America. Countrywide, this condition affects an estimated 44 million people.
Tinnitus usually manifests as a ringing in the ear, though it can also sound like buzzing, whooshing, clicking, chirping, hissing, roaring or whistling.
Tinnitus is a symptom rather than a condition. It affects the ears’ perception of sound. Sometimes the cause of tinnitus in Aberdeen patients can be identified, while other times it remains unknown. Some of the most commonly cited causes of tinnitus include hearing loss, loud noise exposure, Meniere’s disease, trauma, TMJ disorder, high blood pressure, ototoxic medications, acoustic neuromas, earwax buildup, stress and migraines.
Your doctor will try to identify the cause of your tinnitus in order to provide a specific treatment plan. Tinnitus can sometimes be alleviated by identifying and treating the underlying condition that’s responsible for the ringing. Other times the symptom may go away on its own. In many cases, however, tinnitus cannot be cured
In the case that the underlying cause of your tinnitus is unidentifiable, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan. The most common tinnitus treatment utilizes a technique called noise suppression therapy. This form of therapy aims to draw the brain’s attention away from the annoying sounds of tinnitus to a more soothing and pleasant noise. This can be done using white noise machines, hearing aids, white noise apps or basic household appliances like air conditioners, fans or humidifiers.
There are a few other common tinnitus treatment techniques in addition to noise suppression therapy, including certain antidepressant medications thought to relieve the symptom and professional counseling aimed at retraining the patient’s brain to ignore the sounds of tinnitus. A new strategy called acoustic neural stimulation is gaining popularity as well. It involves the use of a handheld device that delivers acoustic signals to your brain’s neural circuits, thus desensitizing them to the tinnitus.