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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

What You Can Do About The Ringing In Your Ears

What may be a peaceful, relaxing evening for most people might be another night of incessant ringing in the ears for you. Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the United States. It affects over 45 million people and is typically a symptom of another health issue. Understanding tinnitus, it’s underlying causes, and possible treatments can help you know what to do if you experience this sometimes debilitating ringing.

Facts about Tinnitus

Of the millions of US adults suffering from tinnitus, research suggests a higher prevalence in specific populations including older adults, people with hearing impairment, and non-Hispanic white people. Tinnitus commonly occurs as a result of auditory ailments. Common ailments include earwax blockage, middle ear infections,Ménière’s disease, age or noise-induced hearing loss, and otosclerosis. Other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid issues, anemia, depression, and injury to the head and neck can also trigger ringing in the ears.

what_you_can_do_about_the_ringing_in_your_earsDiscovering the Cause of Your Tinnitus

If you experience continual or intense tinnitus, consider scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist to help diagnose the cause. Your hearing doctor will take you through the steps of diagnostic testing including closely examining your medical history, a physical examination, and hearing (sometimes laboratory) testing. Audiometry screening can help determine functioning of the ears and possible abnormalities that may have led to Tinnitus.

Testing the Ringing in Your Ears

Determining the sound, pitch, and volume of your tinnitus can help your doctor customize a treatment plan for you.

Test 1: Tinnitus Tone Match

By recreating common pitches of ringing and comparing them with your perceived tone, your doctor will be able to determine frequencies to utilize during sound therapy.

Test 2: Minimum Masking Level

This test determines how easily the ringing noise can be masked by other sounds.

Test 3: Loudness Comfort Level

This test helps determine which type of treatments or therapy would be best for the patient by determining their threshold for volume discomfort.

Treating Your Tinnitus

Amplifying Everyday Sounds

Often, people experiencing tinnitus notice the ringing more when their surroundings are quiet. Through utilization of a hearing aid, patients are able to focus on important sounds around them and less on the ringing. This method does not get rid of tinnitus but helps the brain to focus on other sounds. Your hearing specialist will help you adjust your hearing aid settings to manage your tinnitus if the amplification method is best for you.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Our brains are constantly processing stimuli, choosing which noises are vital for response. Through a process called habituation, the brain dismisses or stores away stimuli instead of responding with the central nervous system. Some patients suffering with tinnitus may more naturally habituate the ringing sound and may not be as affected. Others may need Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. This therapy mixes specific sounds with your ringing frequency to train the brain to habituate.

No matter the intensity of your tinnitus, counseling and therapy sessions with a hearing specialist will give you the knowledge and tools to manage the ringing, helping you get life back to normal.

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