What is Tinnitus?
The term tinnitus is derived from the Latin word for “ringing”, traditionally used to describe ringing or buzzing in the ears. It is actually a symptom, rather than a condition – meaning that it can be associated with many different medical conditions.
According to recent statistics, almost 50 million Americans (18% of the population) experience some degree of tinnitus . Fortunately, the majority of people with this condition are able to cope with it very well. However, for some, tinnitus can be extremely bothersome and disruptive – especially when they have a more severe form of this condition.
Tinnitus is not usually a sign of any serious medical condition, but it can be extremely disruptive and bothersome.
Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, including: lack of oxygen (hypoxia) , ear infection or blockage, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), stress, exposure to loud noise , ototoxic medications, Meniere’s disease , head or neck injury, brain tumors , cardiovascular disease, allergies and high blood pressure . It may also be a symptom of certain neurological conditions.
Most people who have tinnitus suffer from subjective tinnitus – meaning it only affects them subjectively, as though there were a sound in the ear which other people cannot hear. For this type of tinnitus, treatment options are limited and not always very effective. In severe cases, a physician may recommend sound therapy for relief from the condition.
The best solution is to avoid anything that causes or worsens tinnitus . This includes loud noise – which can make the symptoms worse – as well as certain medications, stress and poor sleep .
In those cases where tinnitus is caused by a medical condition , managing that underlying cause may reduce the associated tinnitus . In some cases, it may be possible to cure the condition which causes tinnitus , but this is not always possible.
Tinnitus symptoms include buzzing, ringing, hissing, whistling or even roaring sounds in the ears. These may be one-time occurrences or they could be something that happens on a regular basis. The severity of this condition can vary from person to person – with some people trying to cope with it and others struggling to find relief.
People who suffer from tinnitus often experience: difficulty concentrating, depression and anxiety , hearing loss , dizziness and fatigue . About one-third of people with this condition also complain about insomnia and memory problems.
The majority of those who have tinnitus in a mild form can try to cope with the condition and learn how to live with it. In severe cases, when the symptoms are disrupting their quality of life , treatment options may be limited.
The most common methods used for treating this medical condition include: sound therapy , Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) , Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).
Sound therapy , also known as habituation or masking therapy, is based on the theory that tinnitus will be less noticeable once you become used to hearing it. This treatment typically involves using a personalized sound generator for about 20 hours per week over the course of several months.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is another treatment option for patients who have bothersome tinnitus , especially when caused by noise-induced hearing loss . This therapy uses low level broadband noise to retrain the auditory system, which then decreases the perception of the tinnitus sound.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of counseling that aims to understand the negative emotions associated with tinnitus , as well as educate patients about how to maintain an anxiety-free environment. Researchers have found this therapy to be effective at reducing the severity of tinnitus , as well as improving sleep and depression symptoms in many people who have this condition. https://hearingaidscentralvalley.com/what-is-tinnitus/