What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common affliction that affects as many as 50 million Americans. The condition presents as an internal noise within your ear or head with no external source. For a lot of people, it is usually a ringing sound, but tinnitus can also present as a buzzing or whooshing.
The severity of it can vary greatly and may come from one ear or both. For some people, the sounds they hear may be constant, while for others, the sounds may come and go. Luckily, for most, it is not a dangerous condition and can be managed through a variety of methods including things such as acupuncture and sound therapy.
Fun fact: Some people have the ability to hear their heartbeat inside their ears — this phenomenon is called pulsatile tinnitus.
What causes tinnitus?
As we mentioned previously, there are varying degrees of tinnitus, and almost everyone has experienced it for a small period of time after being exposed to extremely loud noise such as at a concert or in a construction zone.
Some medications can cause tinnitus; however, most people will find that the condition goes away once the drug is discontinued. Tinnitus that lasts continuously for more than six months is considered “chronic tinnitus”. There are several underlying conditions that may cause chronic tinnitus, such as hearing loss, injury to the ear canal, and circulatory problems, as well as long-term exposure to certain levels of sound.
How Do You Diagnose Tinnitus?
While you may suspect that you suffer from tinnitus due to the sounds you experience, a diagnosis must be made by a medical provider. We recommend a visit to your physician as early as possible to avoid any further complications from a delayed diagnosis.
Your provider should complete a physical exam and audio logical evaluation, as well as conduct a complete evaluation of your history where they will consider your exposure to noise, lifestyle as well as any medications you may be taking.
Based on your diagnosis and the cause of your condition, a doctor will attempt to treat any underlying medical conditions that may be causing you to experience tinnitus.
So What Is The Cure For Tinnitus?
Unfortunately for those who suffer from severe or chronic tinnitus, there are no known cure – there are, however, a variety of treatments available to help manage and minimize the condition’s impact. Some patients believe that natural approaches and management such as acupuncture and supplements may help.
According to Harvard Health, the most effective approaches are behavioral strategies and sound-generating devices, often used in combination. Treatment approaches include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)
- Cochlear Implants
- Masking devices
While nothing is ever guaranteed, you can attempt to take preventative measures to lessen your risk of tinnitus. Start by protecting your ears from loud noises and keep a watchful eye on the volume levels of your phone, radio, or television. Wear ear protection when attending concerts or when exposed to loud noises (higher than 85 decibels)
Can I Prevent Tinnitus?
You should also avoid medications that may cause your tinnitus symptoms to occur and schedule regular hearing tests with your doctor to promptly detect any problems with the structure of your inner and middle ear.
Keep your stress levels low as studies suggest that stress can make this problem more prominent. Find your joy by doing some mindful meditation, going for a walk, or listening to your favorite sounds.
Sound Oasis has the industry’s widest selection of products, sounds, and APPs to help manage this.
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