Thursday, October 4, 2012

I have ringing in my ears!

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound when that sound does not exist.  The most common sounds are ringing, buzzing, clicking or humming.” It is estimated that 50 million Americans experience tinnitus.  For some, it is constant, for others it is occasional.  It can be heard in one or both ears.  The most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud sounds.  Tinnitus has also been associated with ear infections, aging, excessive ear wax, high blood pressure and hearing loss.  Other activities which can cause tinnitus include smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine and taking excessive amounts of aspirin or antibiotics.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that relieves tinnitus.  Obviously, reducing stress, alcohol and caffeine consumption, keeping blood pressure under control and reducing exposure to loud noise will all be beneficial.  Tinnitus can be a very troublesome symptom.  It should be investigated, evaluated and treated.
First, rule out a medical problem. If there is a medical cause, treatment of the underlining problem may resolve the tinnitus.  In many cases, those who have tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss possibly even a mild loss of hearing.  An Audiological Evaluation can identify the nature and degree of hearing loss, as well as evaluate the frequency and intensity of the tinnitus.  If hearing aids are appropriate, use of hearing aids often “cover up” or “mask” the tinnitus, making it less distracting.  Sometimes a noise generator called a tinnitus masker is used.  This creates a noise to cover up the tinnitus.  If these solutions are not successful, behavior modification and relaxation techniques may be recommended.  
Start with a hearing evaluation and medical examination.  Call today to schedule an appointment.
Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, AuD
Paula Webster, MA

Advanced Audiology Concepts
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

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