Tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears,” can occur in either one or both ears. It is alternatively described with words such as whooshing, clicking, hissing, whistling, or buzzing. It is usually connected with hearing loss.
It is not a disease, but a symptom caused by another condition, including:
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noise
- Migraine headaches
- Meniere’s disease
- Wax accumulation
- Some other cause
A definite diagnosis is often difficult because many conditions can cause tinnitus. While about one-third of adults at some time experience tinnitus, some estimates show that 10-15% have prolonged ringing needing medical attention.
If a medical diagnosis has not been found for the tinnitus, an audiologist can test for hearing loss. They may ask some questions:
- Which ear(s) involved?
- Is it worse at certain times of day or night?
- Does the ringing seem louder/softer sometimes?
- Can you describe it?
- How bothersome or annoying is it?
- Does it affect daily activities?
Hearing specialists think tinnitus and hearing loss often go together due to damage of the hair cells of the inner ear or some other mechanical issue. If you experience hearing loss with tinnitus, don’t despair because there are hearing aids designed to address this. Majority of hearing aids now have inbuilt programs that allow audiologists to fine tune to fit your tinnitus needs.
Hearing aids can often mask the ringing by increasing the volume of external noise. By “confusing” the brain and making it focus on outside noises, these hearing aids seem to lessen the discomfort of tinnitus. This also helps improve everyday communication that is otherwise difficult, especially for those that live with severe tinnitus.
Here at The Hearing Care Shop we offer these products for hearing loss with tinnitus:
If you suffer from tinnitus and want to enjoy the sounds of daily living contact us today to discuss your options with our audiologist Michael.