Tinnitus is a condition that causes people to hear sounds for which there are no external sources. Most often these sounds are clicking, buzzing, roaring or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is often a secondary condition to another issue, such as an infection in the middle or inner ear, or as a side effect of certain medications. Tinnitus can also be caused by wax impaction or noise exposure, such as a loud concert. Psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety have also been shown to be a factor in tinnitus. Tinnitus is estimated to affect almost 35 million Americans.
Do you think you may have signs of tinnitus? Take our free online tinnitus quiz to see if you should make an appointment with one of our doctoral-level audiologists!
Impacts of tinnitus on daily life
Tinnitus can be quite challenging for its sufferers. Many patients fear that the constant buzzing or ringing will never go away or will get increasingly worse as time goes on, and the stress of that fear negatively impacts their mood. Many tinnitus sufferers experience depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, or trouble concentrating.
The constant noise can impact sufferers’ ability to take part in conversations and social activities, and so they will often withdraw from activities that could improve their depressed moods. Also, dealing with the constant noises makes many tasks -- especially those requiring concentration -- much more difficult. Patients’ energy levels can suffer as even basic tasks become much more challenging. If this is happening to you, speak to an audiologist immediately about possible treatments for tinnitus.
Lifestyle modifications for tinnitus
If you are suffering from tinnitus, some small lifestyle and dietary changes have been shown to help. Lowering levels of caffeine and nicotine have been shown to provide some relief, and a low-salt diet is also recommended by many medical professionals. Regular exercise is also beneficial, as it brings more blood flow to the inner ear, often the site of the issue causing the tinnitus. B-12 vitamins are also useful for Tinnitus, and these can be found in a healthy diet containing meats, eggs, and dairy.
Sounds therapy treatments for tinnitus
The primary form of tinnitus management is the use of sound therapy in a structured and supervised program. Sound therapy promotes habituation to tinnitus and sound sensitivity problems. Sound therapy options that can be helpful in providing relief include hearing aids with tinnitus masking programs, the Neuromonics tinnitus treatment system, and the Serenade tinnitus treatment system.
Talk with a doctoral-level audiologist about tinnitus treatment options and to discover which might work best for you. Your audiologist may refer you to another physician, as certain tinnitus conditions may need to be medically managed or may require medical evaluation.
Are you experiencing ringing, buzzing, or roaring sounds in your ears? Request an appointment with one of our doctoral-level audiologists and find out how you can get relief!