Tinnitus is a ringing or similar sensation of sound in the ears. Origin is the Latin “tinnire” to ring. It is the most common disability experienced by combat veterans. There are four types of tinnitus which are:
- Subjective: This is the most common type and is usually due to exposure to excessive noise.
- Objective: It can actually be heard externally by Lansdowne Hearing and is the rarest form.
- Neurological: This results from a disorder such as Meniere’s disease that affects the neurological system.
- Somatic: It is related in some way (caused or made worse) by the body’s own sensory system.
Lansdowne Hearing can help you with the management and treatment of your tinnitus. Using hearing aids with a tinnitus therapy feature is an effective treatment for most tinnitus sufferers.
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Here are a few facts about tinnitus:
- The prevalence of tinnitus is often related to the degree of hearing loss.
- 10 – 15% of people suffer from chronic tinnitus (i. e., more than 6 months).
- About 20% of patients with tinnitus find the symptoms difficult to bear.
- Over 90% of tinnitus sufferers also have a hearing impairment.
- Tinnitus is a common disorder with many possible triggers.
- Tinnitus is often related to spontaneous nerve fiber activity.
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More than 50 percent of tinnitus sufferers have hearing loss.
Treatment with hearing aids is often the first step to relief from tinnitus. Hearing aids compensate for hearing loss, which enables concentration on external sounds instead of internal noises. Lansdowne Hearing has successfully helped many patients with tinnitus and restored them to a more peaceful life.
Tinnitus is often called the “phantom noise” and sufferers are often reluctant to tell anyone for fear of being diagnosed with a mental imbalance. People describe it as sounds like chirping, ringing, crackling or roaring. Have you ever heard sounds coming from inside your head? Lansdowne Hearing can help you.
Tinnitus is most commonly caused by noise exposure. It has been linked to insomnia, stress/anxiety, depression and fear. Aspirin and NSAID drugs, as well as certain antidepressants, antibiotics, and cancer drugs are known to cause or worsen tinnitus.
More than half of tinnitus sufferers also experience hearing loss. Tinnitus affects 1 in every 10 American adults. Using hearing protection in loud environments can help you avoid developing tinnitus. Roughly 10 percent of the adult population of the United States has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year. This amounts to nearly 25 million Americans.
Causes of Tinnitus
Though the exact cause of tinnitus — as in the specific mechanism that creates these phantom sounds in some people — remains unknown, contributing factors and triggers have been identified. Excessive exposure to loud noise is often a factor because of the damage done to your auditory system. Tinnitus may also result from jaw-joint dysfunction (e.g., teeth grinding, temporomandibular joint disorder) or chronic neck muscle strain.
While tinnitus is as varied as its causes, it can be grouped into two categories: tonal and non-tonal. Tonal tinnitus is more common and describes the perception of a near-continuous sound or overlapping sounds with a well-defined frequency (e.g., whistling, ringing, buzzing). Non-tonal forms of tinnitus include humming, clicking, crackling, and rumbling.
Treatments from Lansdowne Hearing
Tinnitus does not have a cure yet, but treatments that help many people cope better with the condition are available. Most doctors will offer a combination of the treatments below, depending on the severity of your tinnitus and the areas of your life it affects the most.
- Hearing aids often are helpful for people who have hearing loss along with tinnitus. Using a hearing aid adjusted to carefully control outside sound levels may make it easier for you to hear. The better you hear, the less you may notice your tinnitus.
- Counseling helps you learn how to live with your tinnitus. Most counseling programs have an educational component to help you understand what goes on in the brain to cause tinnitus. Some counseling programs also will help you change the way you think about and react to your tinnitus. You might learn some things to do on your own to make the noise less noticeable, to help you relax during the day, or to fall asleep at night.
- There are other suggestions including wearable sound generators, tabletop sound generators, acoustic neural stimulation, cochlear implants, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, and other medications.
Hearing aid treatments
Siemens (now Signia) has the most advanced hearing aid treatments for tinnitus including the following three approaches:
- Notched therapy – Signia’s proprietary sound therapy is especially effective against tonal tinnitus, a very common type of tinnitus. In summary, if the patient’s tinnitus is centered around 2,000 Hz, then the hearing aids are programmed to provide amplification around the patient’s hearing loss range except at the 2,000 Hz frequency. This novel therapy utilizes a neural mechanism that reduces the activity in the over-stimulated region of the brain responsible for many types of tinnitus and has been shown to be highly effective in many clinical studies. This tinnitus therapy is clinically proven and does not use a masking sound.
- Ocean waves – Many options of soothing natural sounds of water provides a tranquil sound of the sea lapping against the shore as the ocean wave therapy signals replicate the relaxing feeling of being on a beach. Ocean wave therapy signals mimic the sound of the sea to provide a positive, soothing, and stress-relieving listening experience.
- Static noise – Many soft static noises, that distract you from the tinnitus, helping you to relax and enjoy life. Signia offers five static noise therapy signals so that you can be distracted from your tinnitus.
Ear disease information