Roughly 50 million Americans have tinnitus. It’s a condition characterized by ringing, whooshing, buzzing or clicking in the ears.
It’s often caused by hearing loss, although it can also stem from medications, allergies, heart disease and jaw and neck problems.
Types of Tinnitus
There are four types of tinnitus:
Subjective tinnitus: This is the most common form of tinnitus. The perceived noise is only heard by the affected individual and can be impacted by noise exposure. It’s usually traced to auditory or neurological problems.
Objective tinnitus: This rare form of tinnitus is perceptible to the affected individual and an examiner. Involuntary muscle spasms or vascular deformities usually cause it.
Neurological tinnitus: Disruptions in the brain’s auditory functions can cause this type of tinnitus. Damage to the hair cells in the inner ear or auditory nerve can create a persistent ringing.
Somatic tinnitus: This condition is affected by the body’s sensory system. Sensory signals generated by the musculoskeletal system agitate somatic tinnitus, especially the muscles under the ears.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be caused by various neurological and physical factors, including:
- Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)
- Ear or sinus infections
- Meniere’s disease
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Muscle spasms in the ear
- Cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and blood vessel disorders
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes, thyroid issues and autoimmune disorders
- Head or neck trauma
- Excess ear wax
- Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, certain antibiotics, diuretics and drugs used to treat cancer
Tinnitus Treatment Options
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, Audio Help Hearing Centers offers treatment options to ease your tinnitus symptoms so you can learn to live with tinnitus in a way that will improve your quality of life.
The first step toward successfully managing your tinnitus is a comprehensive hearing evaluation at one of our three locations in New York City or our offices in Scarsdale, New York and Stamford, Connecticut. Our expert audiologists will diagnose your tinnitus and degree of hearing loss to determine if that’s causing the ringing in your ears.
We also thoroughly evaluate your family and medical history to narrow the possible causes of your tinnitus symptoms.
Hearing aids are a viable treatment option for tinnitus because they amplify and clarify ambient sounds and speech, making the ringing or buzzing in your ears less noticeable. Some hearing aid brands also offer masking programs to cover the buzzing or clicking.
Wearing hearing protection is another important part of treating your tinnitus. Noise exposure can aggravate your condition and may worsen your hearing loss. Audio Help Hearing Centers offers a wide variety of hearing protection to suit your needs.
Our aural rehabilitation classes provide a supportive setting where we administer tinnitus retraining services to address any issues you may experience with hearing loss. Visit our frequently asked questions for additional information on general and hearing aid questions.