When you suffer from tinnitus, you might describe it as annoying, distracting, or even distressing. If you have a problem with tinnitus, there has to be a cure, and we’re aiming to find it. Just like other conditions affecting your hearing, tinnitus can also affect your quality of life.
It is claimed that many people who have tinnitus they find it hard to live a ‘normal’ life, i.e. think clearly, sleep well, concentrate at work or school or even just enjoy silence. If tinnitus is untreated it can wreak havoc on your life, leading to irritability, insomnia, and even depression.
With so many people struggling, audiologists around the world have been looking for solutions that might cure tinnitus, or at least lift some of the burden. However, to diagnose and treat tinnitus, the condition has to be studied and understood. If you have tinnitus, or know someone who does, this information might help you come up with some solutions.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is an issue that can take many forms. While most people characterise tinnitus as a “ringing” in the ears, the sound can vary between high-pitched buzzing or hissing, to low roars. The pitch and tone of the tinnitus depends on the person experiencing it. The volume and intensity of this sound can also vary, but cases of tinnitus are often always present.
There are many people that can block these sounds out, while others must turn on music or white noise to sleep and focus. When your tinnitus becomes severe, it is so difficult to enjoy silence. In extreme cases, tinnitus can even limit your regular hearing, drowning out other sounds and making it difficult for you to understand others.
Many think that tinnitus is a condition on its own. But it is a symptom of a larger problem, which is usually hearing loss or circulatory damage. Tinnitus can also be caused by injuries to the ear or ear canal. If the underlying issue of tinnitus can be pinpointed, a solution to the problem can be reached sooner.
How is tinnitus caused?
The most common cause for tinnitus is hearing loss. If you are experiencing tinnitus in both ears, and your doctor or audiologist has determined that it’s subjective tinnitus, then there is a chance that you might have some form of hearing loss. However, objective cases of tinnitus, the ones that your doctor or audiology can physically confirm, are usually caused by circulatory problems.
There are other causes of tinnitus too, which are rarer. Such as tumors, earwax blockages, ear injuries, and other blood disorders can lead to tinnitus in one or both ears. The treatment for tinnitus varies depending on what the cause is.
Like many other conditions involving hearing loss, there is no definite “cure” for tinnitus. The word alone has the connotation that it can be sorted out one-time and there is an immediate solution that completely solves the problem. However, there currently is no technology that can completely reverse hearing loss. The best we can do is prevent further damage and offer solutions that will lessen the effects of tinnitus.
However, that is not to say that tinnitus cannot be effectively treated. Many people with tinnitus can find satisfaction with their treatment plans. These treatments might involve hearing aids, tinnitus maskers or another device dependent on your situation. These treatments can help improve hearing loss, or mask the sound of the tinnitus so you can focus better.
While many people might feel discouraged by the fact that tinnitus has no “cure”, tinnitus is much like a chronic condition. There might not be a clear solution, but you do have options for treatment. Any treatment at all is better than going untreated.
In fact, if you ignore tinnitus and go untreated, it can increase your chances of worsening your tinnitus and even lead to permanent damage such as bad hearing loss. If you don’t use proper hearing protection, your hearing loss and tinnitus can get worse over time. It’s important to seek diagnosis early and begin taking precautions when you’re around loud noises. On top of getting treatment and preventing further damage, early action can also help with tinnitus-related frustrations, depression, and anxiety.
If you haven’t received a tinnitus diagnosis or want to explore your options regarding maskers and hearing aids, book an appointment with us at Strauss Audiology. We will be able to give you the information and guidance you need to begin improving your life.
About Strauss Audiology
Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 13 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.
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