Tinnitus

what we know and what we can do to help
Schedule a Consultation

Tinnitus

What we know and what we can do to help
Schedule a Consultation

Tinnitus & Medications

More than 200 drugs are known to cause tinnitus when you start or stop taking them.

Tinnitus Therapy

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.

Tinnitus & Noise

People who work in noisy environments—such as factory or construction workers, road crews, or even musicians—can develop tinnitus over time when ongoing exposure to noise damages tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear that help transmit sound to the brain. This is called noise-induced hearing loss.

Preventing Tinnitus

Noise-induced hearing loss, the result of damage to the sensory hair cells of the inner ear, is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Anything you can do to limit your exposure to loud noise—by moving away from the sound, turning down the volume, or wearing earplugs or earmuffs—will help prevent tinnitus or keep it from getting worse.

Why do I have this noise in my ears? 

Although we hear tinnitus in our ears, its source is really in the networks of brain cells that make sense of the sounds our ears hear. Scientists still haven’t agreed upon what happens in the brain to create the illusion of sound when there is none. Some think that tinnitus is similar to chronic pain syndrome, in which the pain persists even after a wound or broken bone has healed.

Tinnitus could be the result of the brain’s neural circuits trying to adapt to the loss of sensory hair cells by turning up the sensitivity to sound. This would explain why some people with tinnitus are oversensitive to loud noise.

 

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?
Tinnitus (pronounced “tin-it-tus”) is an abnormal noise in the ear.  Tinnitus is extremely common – nearly 36 million Americans have tinnitus. More than half of the normal population has intermittent 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?
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?
There are many causes of tinnitus, here are just a few

  • 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.
  • aneurysms,
  • 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.
  • Medications
4. Who is the typical person suffering from tinnitus?
Of adults ages 65 and older in the United States, 12.3 percent of men and nearly 14 percent of women are affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified more frequently in white individuals and the prevalence of tinnitus is almost twice as frequent in the South as in the Northeast.
5. Is tinnitus always heard in both ears?
Tinnitus can be perceived in both ears, one ear or in some patients in the middle of the head and not in the ear.

Tinnitus Treatments

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

Location

42 63rd St, Willowbrook, Illinois 60527

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Office Hours

Mon & Wed: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Tues, Thur & Sat: By appointment only
Fri: 9:00am – 3:00pm

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