Eliminating Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a condition characterized by swishing, buzzing, ringing, or other noises that appear to be originating in the head or ear. Prolonged exposure to loud sounds is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Up to 90 percent of people with tinnitus have some level of noise-induced hearing loss. The noise greatly damages the sound-sensitive cells of cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ in your inner ear.
Landscapers, street-repair workers, rock musicians, pilots and carpenters are among those whose jobs put them in jeopardy, as are people who work with guns, chainsaws, or other loud devices and machines, or who always listen to loud music. A single exposure to a sudden tremendously loud noise or sound can cause tinnitus as well.
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When a person has tinnitus, one of the treatment options available to them is learning to retrain ears and/or the body through particular kinds of therapy. These therapeutic techniques show patients how to live or cope with tinnitus, include: sound therapy, biofeedback and tinnitus maskers.
Sound therapy, one common tinnitus treatment today, covers a wide variety of coping techniques. It’s usually overseen by the audiologist of the patient. Sound therapy aims to help patients to focus on outside sound or sounds other than the ringing in their ears. It retrains the patient’s ears to focus on other sounds through concentration. If the patient is suffering from intense conditions of tinnitus, however, the audiologists may need to use a hearing aid or a machine that produces sounds, sometimes called tinnitus maskers. These hearing aids help patients hear the sounds or noises other than the ringing in their ears.
The audiologists use tinnitus maskers to play a sound that helps the patient fight the sound of tinnitus. The sound is usually more pleasant to the ears, making the patient comfortable and relaxed. It covers the tinnitus, but also allows the patient to hear other noise or sounds. When the tinnitus maskers are placed in your ears, you are then retrained to listen to other sounds.
Unlike sound therapy, biofeedback trains not just your ears, but your whole body as well to cope with tinnitus. Working with the observation that such hearing condition is aggravated by stress, biofeedback aims to teach patients how to recognize sounds when their body is stressed and how to relax their bodies from stress. Biofeedback is done by attaching electrodes onto parts of your body and allowing you to observe how your body reacts when you are stressed and when you are relaxed or calm. When stress levels go down, patients usually notice that the intensity of ringing decreases. Coupled with helping patients hear sounds other than the decreased ringing, biofeedback can provide a good amount of help to those people suffering from tinnitus.
The effectiveness of these methods often depends on the severity of the condition. Sometimes, immediate relief or a good response to the therapy is seen right away. Other times it takes several weeks or sessions of therapy before any hearing improvement is seen. Usually, through time, the patient does become more focused on sounds other than the ringing, and are able to hear well.