Does Everyone with Hearing Loss Develop Tinnitus?
Why some people with hearing loss develop tinnitus—a buzzing or ringing sound in the ears in the absence of any real sound—and others don’t has puzzled scientists for years. Almost all cases of tinnitus are preceded by a loss of hearing as the result of damage to the inner ear from aging, injury, or long-term exposure to loud noise, but experts estimate that only a third of those with hearing loss will go on to develop tinnitus.
1. What is tinnitus?
About 6% of the general population has what they consider to be “severe” tinnitus. It can sound like a low roar, a high-pitched ring or a variety of other sounds. Tinnitus may be in both ears or just in one ear. Seven million Americans are so severely affected that they cannot lead normal lives.
2. Are there different types of tinnitus?
There are two different categories or types of tinnitus.
Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus only you can hear. This is the most common type of tinnitus. It can be caused by ear problems in your outer, middle or inner ear. It also can be caused by problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound.
Objective tinnitus (believe it or not) is tinnitus your doctor can hear when he or she does an examination. This rare type of tinnitus may be caused by a blood vessel problem, an inner ear bone condition or muscle contractions.
3. What can cause tinnitus?
- Ear wax.
- Exposure to loud noise
- middle ear infection or fluid
- injury to the nerve from the ear to the brain, and central nervous system damage.
- increased pressure in the head (hydrocephalus), and
- hardening of the arteries.
- Brain tumors
- Loud noise both short term and long term. inner ear damage and tinnitus.
4. Who is the typical person suffering from tinnitus?
5. Is tinnitus always heard in both ears?
Although there’s no cure for tinnitus, several treatments can make it easier to cope. Hearing aids may help those who have hearing loss along with tinnitus. Behavioral therapy with counseling helps people learn how to live with the noise. Wearable sound generators—small electronic devices that fit in the ear—use a soft, pleasant sound to help mask the tinnitus and offer relief.
Some people with tinnitus use tabletop sound generators to help them relax or fall asleep. A newer approach called tinnitus retraining therapy has shown promise and appears to ease the annoyance of tinnitus and its impact on people’s lives.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Widex Zen Tinnitus Technology
The Widex ZEN tinnitus technology was created to ensure that tinnitus does not negatively impact your quality of life. Since its introduction in 2012 Widex ZEN tinnitus technology has been widely accepted as a comprehensive and professional way of managing tinnitus.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
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.
Nyce Hearing Center
42 63rd St, Willowbrook, Illinois 60527
Tues, Thur & Sat: By appointment only
Fri: 9:00am – 3:00pm