After being exposed to loud noise, almost everyone has had tinnitus for a short time. For example, you might get short-lived tinnitus from attending a noisy concert. However, some people experience chronic tinnitus, defined as a ringing that lasts more than six months. Around 10-15% of people are experiencing chronic tinnitus, but only about 10% seek medical help.
The word tinnitus derives from the root word tinnie, meaning "ringing." Tinnitus is a sound in the ears or head that sounds like ringing, humming, hissing, or buzzing. It is not connected to external noise, and other people don't usually hear it.
Causes of Tinnitus
Where the sound comes from is still not completely clear. But the most common cause may be hearing loss, and hearing loss comes with 80% of cases of tinnitus.
How are the two connected? Scientists believe that after damage to the sensory cells in the cochlea, sounds are transmitted to the brain insufficiently or not at all. Then the auditory response area in the brain tries to compensate for the missing frequencies by "increasing the volume "– even if the person does not hear the noise at all. Therefore, it has been concluded that the tinnitus noise is often associated with those frequencies that the affected person has trouble hearing or is no longer able to hear.
Tinnitus Treatment Options
Various treatments are available to alleviate your tinnitus symptoms depending on the origin of your tinnitus and other circumstances.
Sound therapy: Like how a noisy air conditioner helps, this treatment employs sounds to help the brain notice the sounds less.
Hearing aids: Even if hearing loss is not present, hearing aids are a common treatment choice for tinnitus. Tinnitus masking features can be added to hearing aids to help people block out noise and get some relief. This can also be used in conjunction with other treatments for hearing loss.
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT): sometimes called habituation therapy, TRT aims to retrain your brain to experience tinnitus in a new way. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be used to help you cope with any emotional issues you may be experiencing as a result of your tinnitus.
Thoreya Audiology is Here to Help!
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing tinnitus, contact us today. The first phase in treating tinnitus is a clinical hearing test to help determine whether the root of the tinnitus is hearing loss or some other auditory-related medical condition. We will also take a history of your medication and use questionnaires to assess the effect of tinnitus on your daily activities.
We will ask you to describe the noise you hear (including its pitch and tone and whether it is constant or regular, stable or pulsating) and the times of day and locations you hear it. Our qualified audiologist will then prescribe an action plan to resolve this persistent issue. While no cure can eliminate tinnitus, we work with state-of-the-art tinnitus therapy options to treat and reduce tinnitus.
Contact us at Thoreya Audiology to find out how we can help you soothe the noise. Schedule your first meeting today – we can't wait to meet you!