Tinnitus relief can be a huge disruption in your life. When you experience chronic tinnitus, it often affects different areas of your life, such as your sleep and your moods. Tinnitus might present as a range of sounds that you hear in your ears, which are sometimes easy to tune out but at other times impossible to ignore. It can affect your focus and concentration, as well as causing you irritation and even anxiety. If you have tinnitus, it's important to seek treatment for it so that it doesn't stop you from living your life the way that you want to.

The symptoms of tinnitus

Tinnitus is when a sound can be heard in the ear that isn't present externally. You might start off looking for where the sound is coming from before realizing that only you can hear it. The symptoms you experience might include ringing, whooshing, buzzing, crackling or whistling, along with a number of other sounds. Some people get tinnitus intermittently, with periods of relief in between experiencing it. Other people have tinnitus at all times. You can hear it in one ear or both, and it can seem like it's coming from a few different places.

The causes of tinnitus

The exact cause of tinnitus isn't known. It's thought that it occurs because the brain is asking for more information that the ears are unable to give. The ears then try to send information that they don't have, which may be what causes tinnitus. What is known is that tinnitus is often connected to hearing loss and can sometimes be caused by an underlying illness or an injury. Sometimes it can be as simple as a build-up of earwax or an ear infection. Even stress and anxiety can lead to tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse.

Tinnitus treatment

There is no one treatment for tinnitus because it can be linked to a range of things. Even when there's no clear cause or related condition, there are several treatment options that might be appropriate. The first thing to do if you're experiencing tinnitus symptoms is finding out if there might be an underlying condition behind it. If there is, treating it can help to address the tinnitus. However, if the tinnitus can't be cured by treating an underlying condition, there are other treatment option.

Hearing aids

Most of the time, tinnitus is related to hearing loss. Hearing aids can address this, helping to treat the tinnitus by providing the ears and brain with the information that it's looking for. Hearing aids won't always help to relieve tinnitus entirely, but they can be combined with other treatment methods. Some hearing aids also have built-in sound devices, which are used to help mask the tinnitus sound and turn it into background noise.

Sound machines

Sound machines can be devices that are worn in the ear like a hearing aid or they can be stand-alone devices. Having a sound machine in a room can be useful when you're unable to wear hearing aids. For example, you could use a sound machine in your bedroom to help mask tinnitus sounds when you're trying to sleep. Many people find that any kind of background noise helps to distract them from the sound of their tinnitus, so listening to the radio or music can be helpful too.

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)

Tinnitus retraining therapy is a treatment for tinnitus the combines the use of sound to habituate you to tinnitus sounds and therapy to help you learn to ignore it. The use of sound is designed to turn tinnitus into a background noise that you can easily ignore, much like you might be able to ignore it when it's raining outside. It might involve using sound machines or wearing a device to help you get used to the sound.

Counseling or therapy is also used to give you the techniques that you need to manage your tinnitus. It has been shown that stress and anxiety can make tinnitus worse, so learning how to relax and some methods to help you tune out the sound of your tinnitus can make a big difference. Some people choose to have cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help you to avoid reacting negatively to tinnitus to reduce stress and reduce the impact it has on your life.

If you have tinnitus, seeking relief for it can change your life. Discover the right treatment for you by contacting Audiology Associates at (888) 701-1441.