What is tinnitus?
“Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present”. – American Tinnitus Association
Tinnitus is usually described as a ringing noise, but some patients report hearing a buzzing, hissing, screaming, humming, or whistling sound, or a ticking, clicking, roaring, “crickets” or “locusts”, tunes, songs, or beeping. Tinnitus can be intermittent or it can be continuous. When tinnitus is continuous it can create distress in the sufferer.
Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom. It can be caused by ear infections, foreign objects or wax in the ear, or excessive exposure to loud sounds. Tinnitus is also a side-effect of many medications such as aspirin or some antibiotics. In many cases, however, no underlying physical cause can be identified.
Even though there is no correlation between tinnitus and hearing loss, many people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. They often identify their tinnitus pitch in the pitch range of their hearing loss.
Is there a cure for tinnitus?
At this time, there is no cure for tinnitus, but there is treatment. The word cure is typically used in conjunction with illness or sickness; tinnitus is neither an illness nor sickness, rather it is a symptom. Therefore, there is not a cure. But there is most definitely much that can be done to reduce the perception of tinnitus and manage the negative effects it often has on your life. Our audiologists are specifically trained in providing tinnitus services and are able to determine the method that is appropriate for you.
What causes tinnitus?
In many patients, it is difficult to determine the cause of the tinnitus. Some of the underlying medical conditions which have been reported to cause tinnitus are Meniere’s disease, diabetes, hypertension, TMJ, vascular issues, drug induced, ear disease, tumors, cardiovascular disease, hearing loss and post surgical.
Some of the non-medical underlying conditions reported are noise induced, head trauma, barotraumas, stress induced, whiplash and substance induced such as alcohol, nicotine or food.