Alternatively, tinnitus caused by ototoxic medications often ceases when a person changes medications. These techniques are as simple as listening to a fan or radio and as complex as undergoing vigorous behavioral therapy or biofeedback to change the way one interacts and responds to their tinnitus. Some management options include:. We Carry the Latest in Hearing Aid Technology We offer a wide range of hearing aids from different manufacturers and a large selection of hearing aid styles.
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Get Started with Our Helpful Online Tools Our online tools can help you decide if hearing aids are right for you, save you money on your next visit, and help you get directions from your doorstep to ours. Information about Tinnitus Tinnitus is characterized as an abnormal perception of sound.
What causes tinnitus? Causes of tinnitus include: Hearing loss , especially age-related hearing loss known as presbycusis Noise-induced hearing loss Obstructions in the middle ear, such as excessive earwax, head congestion, loose hair and dirt or foreign objects Head or neck trauma Temporomandibular joint disorder TMJ Sinus pressure and barometric trauma Traumatic brain injury Ototoxic medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs , some antibiotics, some cancer medications, water pills or other diuretics or quinine-based medications Other diseases and medical conditions related to the metabolic and autoimmune systems, blood vessels, mental health and vestibular system.
Diagnosing tinnitus Diagnosing tinnitus is easy, but diagnosing the issue causing the symptom can be more difficult. There's currently no single treatment for tinnitus that works for everyone. However, research to find an effective treatment is continuing. This may involve:. Read more about how tinnitus is treated.
It's not clear exactly what causes tinnitus, but it's thought to be a problem with how the ear hears sounds and how the brain interprets them. The cochlea is a coiled, spiral tube containing a large number of sensitive hair cells.
Information about Tinnitus
The auditory nerve transmits sound signals to the brain. If part of the cochlea is damaged, it will stop sending information to your brain. In older people, damage to the cochlea often occurs naturally with age. You should see your GP if you have a problem with your hearing, such as hearing ringing or buzzing sounds. Alternatively, you may be referred to the ear, nose and throat ENT department of your hospital. At your appointment, an ENT specialist will examine your ears, ask you about the type and severity of the noises you can hear, and carry out tests to try to establish what's causing them.
These scans will allow the specialist to closely examine the inside of your ear and brain.
A Guide to Tinnitus
There's not usually a quick fix for tinnitus, but it will often improve gradually over time. A number of treatments are available to help you cope. If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying health condition, treating the condition will help stop or reduce the sounds you hear. For example, if your tinnitus is caused by an earwax build-up , eardrops or ear irrigation may be used.
Ear irrigation involves using a pressurised flow of water to remove the earwax. These are described below. Correcting even fairly minor hearing loss means the parts of the brain involved in hearing don't have to work as hard and therefore don't pay as much attention to the tinnitus. Read more about treating hearing loss. Tinnitus is often most noticeable in quiet environments. The aim of "sound therapy" or "sound enrichment" is to fill any silence with neutral sounds to distract you from the sound of tinnitus. White noise generators are similar devices that produce a continuous "shushing" sound at a level that's comfortable and soothing.
Also available are pillows containing built-in speakers to help distract you from tinnitus when you go to sleep, and small sound-generator devices that fit in your ear like a hearing aid. Some hearing aids have built-in sound generators for people with tinnitus.
It's usually carried out by hearing therapists, audiologists hearing disorder specialists or doctors. Treatment aims to retrain the way you think to change your behaviour. This technique can be effectively applied to tinnitus. This can make your tinnitus worse. Tinnitus retraining therapy TRT is a special type of therapy that aims to help retrain the way your brain responds to tinnitus so you start to tune the sound out and become less aware of it.
The therapy involves a combination of more intensive sound therapy and long-term counselling. TRT is widely available privately and may be available on the NHS for people with very severe or persistent tinnitus. It should only be carried out by someone specially trained in the technique. These techniques include:.