Have you experienced a strange ringing or buzzing sound that no one else around you can hear? The cause might be tinnitus, a common condition that affects millions of people each year. While the exact tones can vary and might mimic clicking, hissing, or roaring, they are difficult and frustrating to deal with. Tinnitus might be intermittent or constant, loud or soft, but for most individuals they become a daily part of one’s life.
Researchers do not know the exact cause of tinnitus, and instead of being termed a disease, it’s treated as a symptom of another condition. In most cases, tinnitus occurs because something is wrong in the ear, auditory nerve, or the parts of the brain that process sound. Sometimes a piece of impacted earwax can be the cause, but many other patients can point to one or more of the following causes:
- Exposure to loud sounds over time
- Head and neck injuries
- Medication side effects (called ototoxicity)
- Untreated medical conditions
- Natural aging
- Sudden impact noises
Although tinnitus is often times not painful, the mental effects of living with the condition can become problematic. Those with tinnitus typically suffer from trouble sleeping as the sounds are most noticeable in quiet environments, and this lack of sleep combined with the droning noise can quickly deteriorate one’s quality of life. Unfortunately, some individuals do find a certain degree of ear pain associated with their symptoms.
Thankfully, researchers are getting closer to developing effective treatments for tinnitus patients. Hearing aids can have a dramatic impact in reducing the effects of tinnitus, and since hearing loss often accompanies the condition, these devices can address multiple concerns at once. Specific mediation techniques have also been found to be helpful in dealing with tinnitus, and new studies are examining the effects of external brain signals on the reduction of symptoms.
Tinnitus doesn’t have to take over your life, and at Sonus our team of experienced professionals will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. While there is yet to be a cure for tinnitus, we can help you to take control over your symptoms and regain the enjoyment of your daily life.