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Insight into causes and treatments for tinnitus


Tinnitus Treatment Centers

More than 50 million Americans suffer from Tinnitus (noises in your head that no one else can hear). These noises may occur as random or nonstop sounds in one or both ears. Individuals may describe Tinnitus as ringing, buzzing, or clicking sounds. The pitch of these sounds can range from a low roar to a high squeal or whine.

 

Tinnitus Facts:

  • Affects 17% of the population
  • 20% of individuals who have Tinnitus will need to seek relief from a hearing specialist
  •  US Military Veterans report Tinnitus as the #1 service-related disability
  •  Approximately 48%-60% of individuals with Tinnitus have reported major depression, indicating a negative effect on their quality of life

Types of Tinnitus

  • Primary Tinnitus – has no apparent cause, usually accompanied by hearing loss
  • Secondary Tinnitus – is diagnosed from a specific cause and accompanied by hearing loss.
  • Persistent Tinnitus – is diagnosed after more than 6 months of symptoms
  • Bothersome Tinnitus – has a negative impact on a patient’s quality of life (diagnosed by a hearing specialist)

Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus comes from the auditory area in your brain, not your ears. It’s the result of damage to the cells in the ear which normally provide signals to the brain but have stopped because of cell damage. The result is that the brain cells, now without direction from the ear cells, become hyperactive and make their own noise. There are many causes of damage to ear cells that can lead to Tinnitus. If you are older, advancing age is generally accompanied by a certain amount of ear cell death and Tinnitus. In younger people, exposure to loud noise is a common cause of Tinnitus. High-decibel recreational events, like car races, music concerts, or sports games are common causes, so it is recommended that hearing protection be worn during these events.

Tinnitus may also be caused by various sources of inflammation or infection, autoimmune disease, restricted blood flow from high or low blood pressure (blood circulation problems), a tumor, diabetes, thyroid problems, injury to the head or neck, and a variety of other causes including medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, sedatives, antidepressants, and aspirin. 

Providing Tinnitus Relief since 2017

We began our Tinnitus evaluation and treatment protocols in 2017 with the advent of new sound therapies that revolutionized treatment options. These sound therapies offer improvements in Tinnitus never before available.  And when combined with habituation/disturbance/anxiety therapies we are now able to eliminate or substantially reduce the harmful effects of tinnitus.

Before any treatment, it’s important to undergo a thorough examination and evaluation by a hearing specialist or otolaryngologist. An essential part of the treatment will be your understanding of Tinnitus and its causes. 

We begin your Tinnitus evaluation with a sophisticated hearing exam that goes beyond the traditional hearing test, along with a physical assessment that focuses on the source of the sound and its detrimental effects on your hearing function and mood. With our advanced technology, we can examine hearing frequencies that are typically missed and are often the source of the Tinnitus. We then isolate the most noticeable Tinnitus frequency in each ear and devise a treatment plan to reduce or eliminate the sound and its bothersome effects.

Success rates are as high as 85%, depending on the length of time an individual has had the Tinnitus and its underlying causes. In general, the earlier we begin the assessment during a patient’s illness, the more treatment options are available, and the better the success rate. Even chronic Tinnitus that has been present for years has shown dramatic improvements with modern therapies.

Cutting Edge Tinnitus Treatments

Our patients have shown great improvements using these multi-faceted Tinnitus treatments:

  • Medical therapies for acute hearing loss
  • Sound therapies to reduce the perception of tinnitus and improve habituation (such as Neuromodulation, Neuromonics, the Levo-system, and hearing amplification)
  • Strategies that assist habituation such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
  • In severe cases, we work with primary care physicians and therapists to address the impact of Tinnitus on an individual’s mental state (anxiety/depression) 

Other treatment options may include:

  • Cochlear implants or electrical stimulation
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Medication to reduce the severity of symptoms
  • Sound therapy and noise suppression
  • TMJ treatment
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Amplification (hearing aids) 

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding Tinnitus causes and treatments. Our hearing specialists focus on understanding your experience, to develop a personalized treatment plan. We prioritize patient education to help give you the control you need to address Tinnitus in a way that works best for you. As Tinnitus research grows, we continue to innovate, constantly working with researchers and manufacturers to bring promising new therapies to our patients. If you or someone you know is experiencing Tinnitus symptoms, contact us for an assessment today. 

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