For many, there are no sounds of silence. Instead, even the quietest of moments, such as sleep, can be filled with buzzing, humming or ringing sounds. This unfortunate condition is called tinnitus and, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, it has affected nearly 25 million Americans to date. Presently, no treatments are available to cure this condition; however, these are options to help.
Tinnitus is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises but also can stem from aging, head injuries or side effects from medications. For many of those afflicted, the impacts can be grave as the perpetual ringing can cause difficulties in concentration and sleeping. While there are no curable options, different treatments can be used to help ease the suffering from the condition or help reduce the degree to which it is prevalent. These treatments include counseling to help in coping with the effects of tinnitus, sound therapy using subtle background noises to lessen the effects and, in some cases, hearing aids have been able to help provide relief though amplification of other sounds.
For many of my patients, wearing hearing aids has provided a distraction for the brain. The introduction of amplification can “mask” or cover up the tinnitus and give relief from a constant ringing or buzzing. Patients report that improving their hearing abilities and reducing the volume of the tinnitus is a huge benefit of amplification. Hearing aids have been recognized as a useful tool for tinnitus management and I am having a lot of success with it.
If you or someone you know suffers from ringing in the ears, we want to help them evaluate their treatment options to possibly lessen the effects of tinnitus. Simply fill out the Contact Us form and we will readily supply more information or contact you to schedule a free hearing evaluation and consultation.
~Alison Vega, Doctor of Audiology