Between 25 million and 50 million men and women in the U.S. have tinnitus, an annoying and often debilitating condition that causes persistent ringing, buzzing, clicking or hissing noises in one or both ears, even when those noises are not present in the surrounding environment. More commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” you may have experienced temporary tinnitus symptoms following exposure to very loud noises, like music, fireworks or construction equipment. But people with tinnitus hear those “ringing” sensations on a regular and ongoing basis. Without treatment, tinnitus can interfere with normal hearing and concentration, eventually causing serious issues like anxiety and even chronic depression. Although lots of issues can cause tinnitus symptoms, the condition is a common side effect of noise-induced hearing loss and about 90 percent of people with this type of hearing loss will also have tinnitus symptoms.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus occurs when something interferes with the normal hearing function, usually the part of the process that takes place inside the inner ear. Research indicates ringing and other sound sensations can occur when the sound waves entering the ear are interfered with at some point in the middle or inner ear, especially along or near the nerve receptors and nerve pathways between the ears and the brain, resulting in distortions that cause ringing and similar symptoms. Several factors can cause or contribute to tinnitus and its symptoms, including:
- earwax buildup
- ear infections
- sinus infections
- hormone fluctuations
- thyroid disease or dysfunction
- cardiovascular disease and “hardening” of the arteries
- chronic use of some types of medications that are toxic to the cells and nerves involved in hearing
- Meniere’s disease, an ear-related disease that can also cause feelings of dizziness or vertigo
Often, the cause of tinnitus symptoms isn’t entirely understood.
Tinnitus can be treated.
Most people who have tinnitus don’t realize it’s a relatively common condition that can almost always be treated. Beltone is a pioneer in tinnitus treatment options, offering special devices and computer apps designed specifically to treat the condition, including:
- the Beltone Reach™ hearing aid with proprietary Tinnitus Breaker™ technology, designed to disrupt tinnitus symptoms and “distract” the ear so symptoms are less noticeable
- the Tinnitus Calmer app, a therapeutic sound application available through the iTunes store and Google Play
Not all tinnitus symptoms are associated with hearing loss, and the first step in ensuring you get the most appropriate treatment for your symptoms is to have your hearing evaluated by skilled hearing specialists. At Beltone, we offer state-of-the-art hearing tests using the most advanced computer technology to ensure accurate results so you can feel confident when making decisions about treatment for tinnitus and other hearing-related issues. We offer free hearing tests at each of our 27 locations in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, and we also schedule private in-home evaluations as well as evaluations in nursing homes and assisted living centers. Requesting your free hearing test is easy: Call toll-free or (888) 210-5846 today or use our online form and we’ll do the rest. Don’t delay care – take the first step toward better hearing today.