What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sensation of humming, pulsing, buzzing, hissing, and other sounds taking place in one or both ears, and that are only perceptible to the person who is hearing them. Though tinnitus is often described as an ailment, it is typically a symptom of another overarching health issue, often one taking place in the middle or inner ear.
Other common causes for tinnitus can include issues with the circulatory system, age-related hearing loss complications, ear trauma, and ototoxic medications.
Ototoxic medications are general prescription drugs, including certain antidepressants, cancer drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and more that, at high dosage levels, can foster the effects of tinnitus.
Though tinnitus doesn’t get the same level of attention as other symptoms, it’s an incredibly common occurrence. Experts estimate that approximately 15% to 20% of people!
Who is at risk for tinnitus?
Generally speaking, men are at greater risk to experience tinnitus than women. Why would that be? Experts attribute this tendency based on men’s greater exposure to what is called high-risk hearing behavior. Hunting, shooting, recreational vehicles, and working in high noise environments like manufacturing and construction can also be associated with the effects of tinnitus.
Of course, this does not mean that women or children are not at risk to experience tinnitus. Anyone subjected to loud noise exposure, ear trauma, and other high-risk factors might also experience tinnitus.
Essentially, it’s important for everyone to take the proper precautions to protect and preserve their hearing health, especially if people find themselves in high-risk situations. Additionally, anyone over the age of 50 should be scheduling annual hearing exams with a hearing provider so that their hearing can be tested and assessed.
Is there a cure for tinnitus?
In most instances, tinnitus is not curable (though sometimes tinnitus that is caused by ototoxic medications will go away after the medication in question is no longer being taken).
Though tinnitus is not curable, it is treatable, both through counseling and through the use of technology.
What is tinnitus counseling?
Tinnitus can be an incredibly stressful experience for many people. Those who suffer from more extreme cases of tinnitus, tend to report feelings of stress, anxiety, isolation, and depression.
Often, it is those who place a greater emphasis or attention on their tinnitus that have a greater emotional struggle, and tinnitus counseling is designed to give those individuals skills that help them develop stronger coping mechanisms so that they can live a more normal and fulfilling life, without the distraction of tinnitus holding them back.
There are a number of forms of tinnitus counseling. Most center on the concept of identifying the situations where more extreme responses are triggered, and creating strategies to combat them. To understand what is right for your situation, we recommend you speak with a hearing professional!
How is technology used to treat tinnitus?
Many of today’s hearing aids come with either built-in or accessory-based features that include options for treating the effects of tinnitus.
These methods tend to use white noise or other sound-based methods that essentially mask the more distracting or distressing sounds of tinnitus that can cause people so much stress.
The Beltone Calmer app is one such technology treatment for the effects of tinnitus. This app, designed for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices, is compatible with a wide range of Beltone hearing aids, and offers a combination of Sound Therapy and relaxing exercises which can help provide relief from tinnitus.
What’s great about the Calmer app is that it comes complete with a library of customizable sounds, meaning that you have options for tinnitus, options that reflect your personality and sensibility.
You can layer sounds, adjust their volume from ear to ear, and even practice behavioral exercises within the app to strengthen your coping skills.
There is help for your tinnitus — don’t delay!
You don’t just have to live with it. Today, there are more technology and treatment options than ever. Isn’t it time you felt like yourself again?
Want to learn more about how you can take control of your tinnitus? Call the hearing professionals of Beltone Tristate TODAY for more information!