Tinnitus Treatment Options
One of the more serious and debilitating conditions that often accompanies hearing loss is tinnitus. This rampant problem is defined as a ringing or buzzing noise in the ear. The noise can be constant or intermittent.
Patients of West Family Hearing usually find tinnitus difficult to describe. It is a symptom of hearing deficiency, like age-related hearing loss, but is unique to each person. That is why one person describes it as ringing, another as buzzing, and yet another as wind, rattling or whistling.
Tinnitus could be a symptom of circulatory problems near the ear, auditory nerve deterioration and other conditions. A hearing test with a hearing care professional is suggested as the first step in determining your level of hearing impairment, which can include a discussion of tinnitus.
Reduce noise in the ears
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are a number of relief options available. Tinnitus treatment first attempts to treat the underlying condition. High blood pressure or a blood vessel problem is often the culprit, so reducing pressure or surgery can help. Medications can cause noise, and even earwax removal can help reduce tinnitus.
Other treatments mask the noise. Many hearing aids are now equipped with these features and help treat not only hearing loss, but tinnitus symptoms as well. White noise machines are common today. They offer constant background noise. People who have this symptom generally like background noise of some type: the TV or music always on, a fan turned on or some other device making low noise, particularly to try to sleep.
Tinnitus retraining therapy
Some people are less bothered by tinnitus symptoms because the noise is processed by the brain as background noise. In some cases, when the noise is most bothersome, the brain can be trained to work in this way. Retraining therapy teaches the brain to process the noise so that it does not bother the patient as much as it did prior to treatment.
Claims that dietary supplements and various vitamins help tinnitus have not been proven, but are being studied abroad. Hypnosis and acupuncture results have been similar: they have been tried, but not approved as reliable relief options.
Therapy groups and psychology
Those living with tinnitus have support groups that can help. Visits to a psychotherapist can help find ways to better cope with the noise.
If you’re concerned you may be suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus or both, schedule an appointment with a professional at West Family Hearing today. We have the knowledge, skills and equipment to help you find the relief you need.