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Tinnitus

Tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, is a symptom that can be related to almost every known hearing problem.

What Causes Tinnitus? The exact physiological cause or causes of tinnitus are not known. There are, however, several likely sources, all of which are known to trigger or worsen tinnitus. One of the most common causes of tinnitus is exposure to excessively loud sounds either on the job or recreationally. In addition, tinnitus can sometimes result from problems not associated with the ear, such as head injury or disorders of the neck vertebrae or jaw joint.

How Many People Suffer From Tinnitus? It is currently estimated that 50 million Americans have tinnitus to some degree. Of those, 12 million have it severely enough to seek medical help.

Is Tinnitus Interfering with My Hearing? No, tinnitus does not interfere with hearing, although it may affect your attention span. On the other hand, tinnitus will seem worse if your hearing loss increases because outside sounds will no longer cover up the tinnitus.

Dealing with Tinnitus Although psychological or emotional problems may be associated with tinnitus, it is a real problem—not imagined. Almost all patients indicate that stress or tension makes their tinnitus worse. Contact an audiologist to learn about ways to manage your tinnitus.

Relieving Tinnitus A consultation with your physician is necessary to determine if your tinnitus is medically treatable before pursuing other intervention options. Tinnitus affects each patient differently. Take note of details surrounding the onset of your tinnitus; identifying triggers is helpful as your Audiologist develops a treatment plan. Audiologists will work with you and your physician to determine the best treatment.

You are not alone! Talking about how tinnitus affects your thoughts, emotions, hearing, sleep and concentration is often beneficial. Learning to manage the stress and emotions that accompany tinnitus can also be helpful.

Many times tinnitus cannot be cured, but there are options available which may help relieve tinnitus. We specialize in the assessment of patients with tinnitus and offer our patients solutions to help them manage their tinnitus.

For more information about tinnitus, visit www.ata.org.

To learn more about how Columbus Speech & Hearing Center can help you manage your tinnitus, call us at 614.261.5452.