Although it is often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” it can be perceived as hissing, clicking or whistling.
It’s a common ailment for many people, but simply because it’s common doesn’t mean that it cannot and does not cause substantial physical discomfort and mental grief for those afflicted.
Tinnitus is a problem that approximately 10-15% of the population reports experiencing on a regular basis. About a quarter of these suffer to a degree severe enough to seek medical attention.
Although it may seem to be a mysterious symptom, the medical community knows that it can largely be caused by damage to the cells of the inner ear. When there is cellular damage, signals can provide relentless feedback, producing the characteristic ear ringing that can be so aggravating.
Other non-cellular ear problems can also cause Tinnitus. Some of these causes include exposure to loud noises, forms of cancer, bacterial and viral infections, sinus problems, blockage caused by inadequate removal of ear wax, head injuries, irregular blood flow to the ears and brain, and hearing loss related to simply getting older.
Continual Tinnitus can cause anxiety and stress in many individuals. Once this negative connection is established, a cycle can begin that affects other regions of the brain. This is commonly known as the vicious cycle.
When tinnitus is perceived, it can prompt a number of emotions, including fear, danger, unhappiness, etc. These can in turn cause physical reactions such as anxiety and stress, thus reinforcing the tinnitus and making the cycle repeat itself. Your relief options.
Several notable studies have demonstrated that hearing aids can be used in combination with therapies. Hearing aids can be used to provide physical therapy by either silencing the ringing sounds by amplifying external sounds, or by producing white noise to drown out or mask the sounds. The latter type of hearing aid uses masking technology to alleviate discomforts. Traditional hearing aids should be distinguished from masking devices which are instruments that resemble hearing aids but do not perform the same function.
Multi-channel digital hearing aids can assist individuals with Tinnitus by improving not only their hearing, but also reducing any accompanying psychiatric symptoms. Proactive approaches can vary, but in plenty of cases they should include the introduction of a hearing aid such as those made by Siemens, Beltone, ReSound and other manufacturers.
Tinnitus masker devices, like hearing aids are removable hearing instruments that work well for many groups of people, including those with minor to severe symptoms. For individuals that do not want to wear a hearing aid, Tinnitus masking devices can be particularly useful for the alleviation of Tinnitus discomfort and distress.
Masking devices are similar to hearing aids in that they function to assist the individual with better hearing, but the mode of achieving that end result differs. Tinnitus maskers rely on alleviating Tinnitus discomfort by playing soothing sounds into the individual wearer’s ear. By doing this, the device produces a comforting sound that is much more tolerable than the problematic high-pitched ringing.
It is strongly recommended that you start with a hearing care professional who is trained and experienced in treating tinnitus patients. These professionals usually have in-depth training on different treatment options and will thoroughly discuss your tinnitus problems with you.
There are some hearing-related tests that may be administered to provide more information regarding how your tinnitus sounds to you. These tests might shed light on the pitch of your tinnitus and how loud you perceive it. The test results can later be compared with other results during the treatment process, and help monitor the status of your tinnitus over time.