Tinnitus is also referred to as ringing in the ears. But the phantom sounds are also described as buzzing, chirping, clicking, or hissing. When you hear sounds that aren’t present in the environment you have tinnitus. And you aren’t alone. Over 50 million people in the US have tinnitus at some time. Tinnitus is a symptom and treatment depends on the cause.
Causes of tinnitus
Hearing is an intricate procedure that requires the ears and the brain to work together perfectly. Tinnitus happens when the ears and brain no longer work together in perfect harmony. There are several reasons the ears and brain stop working together correctly. This includes:
- Hearing loss
- High blood pressure
- Earwax buildup
- Ototoxic medications
- Changes to the ear structures
The brain is accustomed to receiving signals from the ears. When these signals don’t come in as expected, the brain fills in the gaps with phantom sounds. If the cause is medical, such as high blood pressure, medication may resolve the issue. If excess earwax is preventing the ears from processing sound correctly, a simple cleaning may calm the tinnitus. If the tinnitus is chronic or interferes with your ability to sleep and impacts your quality of life, turn to Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance for treatment.
Tinnitus treatment options
The audiologists at Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance will work with you to create a tinnitus treatment plan that focuses on your individual needs. We’ll start with identifying the possible causes and triggers and craft a treatment plan to reduce the impact on your quality of life.
Sound and tinnitus retraining therapy can mask the tinnitus sounds and teach your brain to process tinnitus noise as merely background noise. These therapies aim to bring the tinnitus down to a level where either the noise doesn’t bother you anymore or is barely perceived.
Hearing aids for tinnitus
Almost everyone with tinnitus has some degree of hearing loss. As your ability to hear decreases, the aural stimulation to the brain decreases. The stimulation loss results in changes to how the brain processes sound. When you wear hearing aids, you restore the level of stimulation coming into the brain from the ears.
Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance can evaluate your tinnitus and determine if hearing aids will help.