Tinnitus is commonly known as ringing in the ears. It is not a sound as most perceive. Tinnitus can rather be a symptom of a more serious health condition.
The most common causes of tinnitus are hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, earwax blockage, and ear bone changes. It can also be caused by accidents, especially ones involving severe damage to the cranial structure and neck injuries. Tinnitus can also be a side effect of certain medical conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ), acoustic neuroma, upper respiratory infection, and more.
How Can Tinnitus be Treated?
Although there is currently no proven cure for most cases of chronic tinnitus, there are excellent tools to help patients manage their conditions. There are treatments that help reduce the intensity, omnipresence, and burden caused by tinnitus. No two cases of tinnitus are alike. Each case varies in each person. The best possible treatment option is often contingent on an array of factors unique to each patient.
The options for treating tinnitus are using hearing aids, engaging in one of the various therapies available, and TMJ Treatments. Before you decide which treatment you should use, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional first. The result of your evaluation will determine which among the treatment options works ideally for you.
Use of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids provide relief from tinnitus when you are wearing them. A lot of hearing aids today include tinnitus therapy features. Some of these hearing aids have masking effects which augment the volume of external noise to the point of covering or masking the sound of tinnitus, and an auditory stimulation feature which increases the amount of auditory stimulation received by the brain.
Sound Suppression Therapy
Sound therapies have four main devices of action. They includes masking, distraction, habituation, and neuromodulation. Masking exposes the patient to external loud noises to help partially or totally cover the sound of tinnitus. Distraction uses external sound to divert the patient’s attention from tinnitus, and habituation helps the patient’s brain to adjust to tinnitus. Lastly, neuromodulation uses a specialized sound to minimize the neural hyperactivity which causes tinnitus.
Aside from sound therapy, there are other therapies for tinnitus such as drug therapy, behavioral and experimental therapies. Drug therapy uses oral medication such as antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs to help reduce tinnitus.
Behavioral therapies focus on the patient’s emotional reaction to tinnitus while experimental therapies refer to the new technology advancement and some of which is already proven to treat tinnitus. Some of these experimental therapies are Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Brain Surface Implants, Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS).
Tinnitus may not be curable as of modern times. However, a lot of therapies and healing methods are available to help the patients cope with their condition. It’s never too late to deal with tinnitus, and there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy life even though it is present in you. If you or any of your loved ones has tinnitus or you simply want to know more about tinnitus, feel free to get in touch with Beltone Audiology by giving us a call at (888) 210-5846 for a free consultation.