If you suffer from constant ringing, buzzing or swishing sensations in your ears, you’re probably desperately looking for help from this annoying symptom known as tinnitus.
Tinnitus is not a single disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this disorder. As we age we develop a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment, which can lead to tinnitus. One of the most common problems that occurs with tinnitus is damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve.
Loud noise exposure is a common cause of tinnitus. Unfortunately, we don’t think much about the harmful effects of excessively loud noise, firearms, and loud music. Repeated exposure to this noise can cause hearing loss. Some medications (for example, aspirin) and other diseases of the inner ear (Meniere’s syndrome) can also cause tinnitus. On very rare occasions, an aneurysm or brain tumor can be the cause.
Treatment now is becoming more effective due to brain imaging. Studies involving music and other sound therapies are showing how the auditory system has been effected. It is now possible to isolate the frequency of which people are experiencing their tinnitus, and use a device through sound therapy to match that individuals frequency. It is a customized FDA approved medical device that provides long term treatment of tinnitus. This goes a big step beyond just treating the symptoms of ringing in the ears.
Alternative treatments, such as ginkgo biloba and zinc have had inconsistent results, although if it works for you..great! But if your tinnitus is effecting the quality of your life and natural remedies are not helpful, it may be worth speaking to an audiologist about this device. For more information, go to ata.org.
Reference: Mulligan, M., Relief for Ringing Ears. Wholeliving Body & Soul.
May 2010, p. 36.
Eschenbrenner, J., Au.D. Flatirons Audiology, 2010.