Tinnitus is the perception of sound without an external source, and is commonly described as a ringing, buzzing or whooshing sound. It can occur in one or both ears and can be constant (steady) or pulsatile (rhythm or beat pattern). Chronic tinnitus is experienced by 10-15% of the population; however, it is only clinically significant for 20% of the population that experiences tinnitus. Potential causes for tinnitus include:
- Hearing loss
- Loud noise exposure
- Head and neck injuries
- History of ear infections
- Impacted earwax
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are highly effective ways to manage your tinnitus. Dario, registered Audiologist, has a special interest in the management and counseling of patients with tinnitus and has successfully worked with patients who experience mild to severe tinnitus.
Treatments for tinnitus
An initial consultation and hearing test will determine which treatment plan is right for you. Here are some of the management options available at Port Credit Audiology for ringing in the ears:
Tinnitus is usually associated with some degree of hearing loss. For patients with a hearing loss who experience tinnitus, hearing aids are one of the most effective tools in managing tinnitus. Hearing problems can often be mistakenly attributed to tinnitus. Therefore, it is vital to optimize hearing function to help improve your hearing and tinnitus. Below are some of the few ways hearing aids will help with tinnitus:
- Improve communication difficulties caused by hearing loss that can be attributed to tinnitus
- Help alleviate stress in difficult listening situations
- Increase sounds around you that reduce the perception of tinnitus
Most modern digital hearing aids also include dedicated tinnitus sound therapy programs that can be used for patients with and without hearing loss. There are special considerations that need to be made when programing a hearing aid for an individual with tinnitus. It is vital to work with an Audiologist to get the most from your hearing aids and find relief from your tinnitus.
Many patients find that phantom noise in the ears is best relieved by an environment of real sound. White noise machines are popular in part for this reason: they create a pleasant background noise that masks or deadens tinnitus. One of the keys to living with this condition is learning to put the noise into the background to help shift your attention away from your tinnitus, and make it less noticeable. Sound therapy is especially helpful for those who find it difficult to fall asleep at night because of their tinnitus.
Relaxation and meditation exercises in conjunction with sound therapy are excellent tools to help manage tinnitus.
There are many helpful tricks and tips that can be used to easily integrate sound therapy into your everyday life. Contact us to find out how you can learn the tools to help reduce your tinnitus.
Progressive tinnitus management
Progressive tinnitus management (PTM) is an Audiologist-lead counseling program aimed at helping patients reduce or manage their reactions to their tinnitus. In learning how to manage reactions to their tinnitus, patients can use their knowledge to address any tinnitus situation in the future. The program uses five different levels of treatment from basic counseling and education to long term follow-up. It differs from other programs available because it offers different levels of support, according to the patient’s individual needs. Patients can stop the program at any point, once they feel that they have learned the tools to help them manage their tinnitus.
Port Credit Audiology and Hearing Aid Clinic has experts in tinnitus relief ready to help you now. It is important to remember that just because there is no cure, does not mean we can’t help manage or improve your tinnitus.
Contact us today for more information about this unfortunately common condition.