Tinnitus Treatment Options
Tinnitus is the term used to describe the condition of perceiving a ringing, buzzing or whooshing noise in the absence of an external sound source. This is typically only experienced by the person with tinnitus and has a variety of different causes.
Treating the cause
Tinnitus can be caused by many things, and is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. The treatment for your particular tinnitus will depend on the condition that is causing it, the severity, any accompanying issues such as hearing loss, and the impact the tinnitus has on daily activities.
Common causes of tinnitus include:
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noises
- Earwax buildup or blockages
- Abnormal bone growth in the ear
- Meniere's disease
- Head or neck injuries
- Benign tumor of the cranial nerve
- Vascular disorders
- Stress or depression
In order to find out the root cause of your tinnitus, your audiologist will conduct a medical history and have you complete a self assessment questionnaire, as well as a hearing evaluation. Medical referral will be provided if necessary to rule out other causes.
What treatments are available?
Depending on the cause of your tinnitus and other factors, several treatments are available to relieve your tinnitus symptoms, from hearing aids with tinnitus-masking features to sound therapy.
A common treatment is acoustic therapy or sound therapy. Sound therapy makes use of sounds to help the brain re-focus and diminish the emotional impact of the tinnitus.
Hearing aids are a popular treatment option for tinnitus even if hearing loss isn’t present. Hearing aids can be equipped with a tinnitus-masking feature to help individuals block out the noise and provide much-needed relief. These can be used in collaboration of hearing loss treatment as well. Remarkable advances have been made in hearing aid tinnitus programs. They are easy to use and very effective in relieving the frustration of tinnitus. Further recommendations for behavioral therapy may be necessary in more complex cases.
The goal of all treatments is to break the negative cycle of tinnitus and offer relief by helping you take control of your response to it.