What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus, from the Latin verb “to jingle”, is an involuntary sound perception originating inside the head. In about 80-85% of cases, tinnitus is accompanied by hearing loss, but it can also be caused by exposure to loud sounds, accidents, ear infection, aging, or stress. Tinnitus is as individual as you are. It can be:
- A buzzing or ringing in the ears
- A hissing or roaring sound
- High, low, single, or multi-toned
- Occasional or constant
The tinnitus vicious cycle:
Tinnitus can trigger negative emotions. Often the severity of your reaction depends on your perception of the sound. If it’s negative, you’re likely to have a negative emotional response. When you do, it can make your brain pay more attention to the tinnitus. A cycle begins that affects your nervous system. Anxiety, sleep disturbance, depression, and poor concentration can occur. These all work together to reinforce the vicious cycle.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Hair cell damage, which also causes hearing loss, is considered one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Tinnitus is also associated with:
- Degeneration of the bones in the middle ear
- Injury to the ears, neck, or head
- Neurological disorders
- Exposure to loud noises
- Side effects of medication
You can break the vicious cycle.
There are a number of treatment options available for tinnitus. Each offers a different explanation for how it can be beneficial to someone suffering from tinnitus. It is not our intention to recommend a preferred method, as different treatment plans may be suitable for different cases. It is, however, important to consider your individual needs and expectations when selecting an appropriate treatment plan. Using hearing aids helps change the way you respond to tinnitus by diverting your attention away from it, thus breaking the tinnitus vicious cycle.
Using hearing aids, in combination with informed counselling and acoustic therapy, can bring you significant relief. Hearing aids helps change the way you respond to tinnitus by diverting your attention away from it, thus breaking the tinnitus vicious cycle. Your emotional response to the tinnitus will change, and your nervous system will respond differently as well.
Whether you have a hearing loss or not, hearing aids may help you manage your tinnitus. The use of hearing aids combines an advanced hearing aid with a tinnitus sound generator. The tinnitus sound generator administers sounds that make the disturbing noise less noticeable and draws your attention away from the tinnitus. This is known as sound therapy. When this is combined with counseling, it is recognized as a highly effective way to managing tinnitus.
Each case of tinnitus is unique, so hearing aids provide individual solutions. Your hearing care professional can customize it in a way that will help relieve your own kind of tinnitus. We call this Individualized Sound Therapy. We strongly recommend that you contact a qualified hearing care professional who is experienced in tinnitus management.
If you think you have tinnitus (or know someone who does), the first step is to see a hearing care professional. Counseling and modern technology can help you.