Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears when no external sound is present. Most suffers describe the sound as “ringing in ears,” though others describe it as hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring and even chirping. (Resource – The American Tinnitus Association)

Tinnitus can have a major impact on people’s daily lives, including stress, anxiety, anger and sleep loss. Tinnitus has many causes and more than 80{b676e0e7aa47035eac5948c3fc11068a21c70fe7f5fe217f53348e43d89d3461} – 90{b676e0e7aa47035eac5948c3fc11068a21c70fe7f5fe217f53348e43d89d3461} of people with tinnitus also experience some degree of hearing loss. For some, treating tinnitus with hearing aids can help them feel that the tinnitus is no longer as dominant.

Managing Tinnitus

Hearing aids can help you focus less on your Tinnitus, provide relief, and better hearing enjoyment. For some, simply getting amplification that meets ones prescription can minimize the dominant effect of Tinnitus. For Example: Light emanating from a candle in a dark room burns very bright. However, this same candle becomes much less noticeable in the presence of light.

For some, hearing aids can replace the unpleasant sound of Tinnitus with sounds that are more soothing to the ears. For example: Soothing external sounds have a similar effect as the candle in the presence of light – by enriching the sound environment through sound therapy, the listener is no longer focused on their Tinnitus.

What causes Tinnitus?

Scientists and health experts don’t know the exact physical cause of tinnitus, but several sources are known to trigger or make it worse, including:

  • Loud noises and hearing loss – Exposure to loud noises can destroy the non-regenerative cilia (tiny hairs) in the cochlea, causing permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
  • Aging – As you age, those same cilia gradually deteriorate, which can lead to tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
  • Ototoxic medications – Some prescription medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants are harmful to the inner ear as well as the nerve fibers connecting the cochlea to the brain.
  • Hearing conditions – Conditions such as otosclerosis and Meniere’s disease are known to cause tinnitus.
  • Health conditions – Tinnitus can also be a symptom of health conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stress and head injuries.

Cure for Tinnitus?

Currently, there is no known tinnitus cure. But according to the American Tinnitus Association, there are recommended ways to get tinnitus relief, including counseling and sound therapy.

Tinnitus tools in hearing aids can be an effective part of any sound therapy program as they utilize a customizable and comforting sound stimulus that soothes the annoying noises associated with tinnitus and takes your mind off it.