The Truth About Tinnitus

The Truth About Tinnitus

Imagine never having another moment of silence. For millions of Americans, that’s a reality they face. Around 50 million people experience tinnitus each year, while almost half of that number have what is referred to as chronic tinnitus. 

As irritating as tinnitus is, it isn’t even a condition in and of itself. Rather, it is frequently a sign of another issue, like illness, trauma or hearing loss.

What Is Tinnitus?

The symptoms of tinnitus are the perception of sounds when no external auditory sounds are present. It is frequently reported as a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or humming quality. In rare cases, people report their tinnitus sounds as being those of people speaking or music playing.

Although the precise causes of tinnitus are not entirely understood, it is thought that the auditory system is involved. The sense of phantom sounds can result from harm to the inner ear cells, which are responsible for translating sound vibrations into electrical signals. Age-related hearing loss, ear infections, specific drugs, earwax blockage and head or neck injuries are some more potential causes of tinnitus.

Most people with tinnitus also have hearing loss, while only a percentage of people with hearing loss have tinnitus. In many cases, tinnitus is strongly associated with noise-induced hearing loss, or the type of hearing damage caused by exposure to excessive noise.

The Impact Of Tinnitus

Tinnitus can range in severity and be either transient or persistent. Some people only experience a minor inconvenience that has little impact on their quality of life. For others, particularly those living with chronic tinnitus, the symptoms can be devastating. In severe cases, memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, and melancholy are reported in conjunction with tinnitus.

Treating Tinnitus

In a vast majority of cases, treating the underlying cause of tinnitus will result in a resolution of symptoms. Ceasing ototoxic medication, removing earwax obstructions or treating circulatory problems are highly likely to make tinnitus sounds fade into your past. 

Specifically intervening in hearing loss can bring tremendous relief to tinnitus sufferers. In addition to addressing the hearing loss causing tinnitus symptoms, many of today’s hearing aid models are equipped with specialized programs to soothe tinnitus. 

In addition, there are proven management techniques to assist people dealing with the symptoms. These include cognitive-behavioral treatment, which focuses on altering unhelpful thought patterns and enhancing emotional wellbeing, and sound therapy, which uses background noise or white noise to mask the tinnitus sounds. Recent evidence also points to alleviating symptoms through mindfulness techniques, like meditation. Still others have found that tinnitus can be controlled by avoiding loud noises, controlling stress, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Tinnitus Means Seek Treatment

Because tinnitus relays the occurrence of an underlying condition, it’s imperative that people with symptoms seek help from a medical professional. You may be able to identify a serious issue and get rid of annoying, persistent tinnitus sounds!

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