Do You Need Help For Your Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, a symptom rather than a disease, affects around 20% of the American population. Typically caused due to some underlying condition, it is quite bothersome and causes you to to hear a ringing, popping, buzzing, roaring, hissing, clicking or other type of noise in their ears. Left untreated, the intensity of the sound can increase to such a point that it is impossible for you to concentrate, and at times, it makes it impossible for you to hear external sounds. Although proper tinnitus help can solve this symptom, if left neglected, it can worsen with age. Its treatment revolves around identifying the underlying cause and curing it. If this is not possible, doctors resort to other types of treatment that mask or reduce the noise.

The different types

Frustrated young woman holding her earsSubjective tinnitus: This is the most prevalent type, and only the affected individual is able to hear it. The main causes are problems with the inner, middle, or outer portion of the ear. Problems with auditory pathways and auditory nerves can also lead to this symptom.

Objective tinnitus: This is a rare tinnitus, but at least with this one the doctor can hear it when he listens for it. This occurs due to muscle contractions, certain conditions of the inner ear bone or problems with the blood vessels in the ear.

Do not put off seeing a doctor

You should get in touch with your doctor as soon as you think you hear an imaginary sound in your ear since neglecting it can make it harder to treat. You should avoid places where you might experience loud noises, such as a construction site, the airport, music concerts, etc. You should also avoid using portable music players. Even a buildup of earwax can cause this problem. In certain cases, usage of certain medications such as antibiotics, vincristine, mechlorethamine, bumetanide, furosemide, aspirin in high doses, certain antidepressants and even quinine based medicines can cause this problem.

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Do not forget to make a list of medications you are currently consuming along with a chart of your other health conditions when visiting the doctor. Chances are that you might not have to undergo tinnitus treatment at all. Just stopping these medicines or cleaning your ears might solve the problem. The doctor might ask you several questions before deciding which type of tinnitus treatment is suitable for you. These questions can include the time from when you started hearing such sounds, their intensity and their description. Your doctor may also ask if you hear the sound in one or both ears, does the sound bother you and have your ears been exposed to loud noises in the recent past. If your doctor cannot resolve the problem, then he might tell you to get in touch with an audiologist or an otolaryngologist also known as an ENT or ear, nose and throat specialist.

Diagnosis determines the type of treatment necessary

Diagnosis forms a major part of the process and determines the type of tinnitus treatment you should have. During this process, you will have to undertake an audiological exam. This takes place in a soundproof room. You will have to wear earphones and listen to mono and stereophonic sounds of different frequencies. You will have to acknowledge every sound you hear. During this period, the specialist may also request that you move your legs, arms and neck, clench your jaw and move your eyeballs. If you feel any difference in the noises coming from the headphones during this process, then let the specialist know. This will help him pinpoint the underlying disorder, treating which can help you get rid of tinnitus. The specialist might also want you to undergo MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scans.

Various treatment options

The appropriate tinnitus treatment depends on the overall condition of your ear. In certain cases, altering your medication, treating the condition of your blood vessels or even removal of earwax will solve the problem. In other cases, the specialist might ask you to wear hearing aids or a type of mask. The latter is like a hearing aid, but instead of amplifying external sounds, it emits a controlled white noise that helps to suppress the symptoms of tinnitus. You may be able to undergo one of the latest procedures such as vagus nerve stimulation tone therapy or electrical stimulation. A cochlear implant is another option that may be right for you. However, before opting for any treatment, it is best to seek the opinion of a Tinnitus Treatment specialist.

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