- 50 million Americans experience tinnitus
- 12 million Americans seek medical attention for their tinnitus
- 2 million Americans are severely debilitated by their tinnitus
Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present. It is often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” although some people hear hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones, and its perceived volume can range from subtle to shattering.
Likely Causes of Tinnitus
- Most people who have tinnitus also have some amount of hearing loss.
Loud noise exposure
- Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Continued exposure can make the tinnitus and hearing loss get worse.
- More than 200 medicines, including aspirin, can cause tinnitus. If you have tinnitus and you take medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine could be involved.
Other potential causes
- Allergies, tumors, problems in the heart and blood vessels, jaws, and neck can cause tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Hearing Aids
Due to the fact that most individuals with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss, hearing aids can create a dual benefit of enhancing hearing abilities and masking the tinnitus.
Hearing aids now have additional tinnitus features that can re-train the brain. In turn causing one to hear the tinnitus less. The tinnitus is not removed altogether, but the brain no longer perceives it as it once did. This is a process and will provided varying levels of relief to patients; some may not even notice any change/improvement.
Other ways to help cope with your tinnitus
Avoid being in complete quiet. Many people find that listening to music, books on tape, or soothing sounds helps to distract from their tinnitus. Sleeping with a fan or sound machine on may also prove helpful.
Avoid things that can make your tinnitus worse such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and stress. And ensure you are getting enough sleep.