If you experience a frequent sensation of ringing within your ears, you may have tinnitus. While tinnitus isn’t a dangerous health condition, it can be incredibly disruptive to your normal, daily routine. It can interfere with your sleep, cognitive abilities, and even make you anxious or irritable. Finding relief is important, and can help you enjoy your days and nights more fully. Ann Watts, AUD, CCC-A, and Allison McMichael, AUD, of Beneficial Hearing Aid Center in Ocala, Florida, offer diagnostic and treatment services for tinnitus to improve hearing function. Don’t accept ringing in your ears as an inevitable consequence of growing older when there are safe and effective treatments that can help. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
Tinnitus is a common experience that affects 15-20% of Americans. Tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom of another issue like ear injury or hearing loss.
Virtually everyone will experience a sensation of ringing in their ears at one point or another. An example is the unusual sensation in your ears after a couple of hours at a loud concert or event. For many people, tinnitus increases as they grow older.
There are two main types of tinnitus: subjective and objective.
Subjective tinnitus is the most common type. Only you can hear the unusual sounds, which are caused by problems with the structure of your ear, nerve damage, or issues with the communication between your brain and the nerves in your ears.
Objective tinnitus can be heard by your doctor during an ear exam. Although rare, this can occur due to a problem with your blood vessels, bone tissue, or muscles in your ear.
The first step in treating tinnitus is a thorough diagnostic exam.
Everyone has a unique experience of tinnitus, and you might even find that the sounds you hear differ from one bout to another. Some of the ways tinnitus is described include:
These sounds can vary from a high squeal to a low roar. They can be barely noticeable or seem so loud that you can’t concentrate.
Tinnitus can be caused by numerous factors. Some of the more common causes include:
Less common causes include temporomandibular joint syndrome, head or neck injury, benign tumors in the ear, high blood pressure, or a condition called Meniere’s disease. Even certain medications can cause phantom ear noises.
If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying health condition, treating that issue is the best course of action. In some cases, simply changing your medications can help.
A professional ear cleaning is an effective treatment if your tinnitus is linked to earwax blockage. Some men and women come in for annual professional ear cleaning to prevent unusual sounds.
The right hearing aid is a powerful tool for managing tinnitus. If hearing loss is part of the problem, hearing aids can reduce unusual sounds and also improve your hearing function.
A wearable tinnitus retraining device is also an option. These medical devices work by masking the frequencies of your tinnitus, helping you focus your attention elsewhere.
To explore these and other treatments for tinnitus, call or schedule an appointment online today.