How To Pick A Treatment Option
Tinnitus is a condition affecting almost 23 million people in the USA for three months or longer. This figure represents approximately one in ten adults. The condition causes a noise many describe as ringing in the ear or ears. However, the sound varies among those who experience it. It may be a roar, click, buzz or hiss. For some it is loud and others soft. Some sufferers experience a high pitch and others a low one. There are several options for tinnitus treatment. The best option for most people is the one that helps to end the annoying noise.
The condition is often associated with hearing loss. For these individuals, the use of a hearing aid, which is properly adjusted to decrease outside sound levels makes hearing easier. By using the aid to restore hearing, the ringing is less noticeable.
Some people have found help through counseling. The best programs also include an educational component. Understanding the workings of the brain that result in the noise may help one to deal with it. In addition, the counseling can help to change one’s thoughts and reaction to the condition. Learning to relax and to fall asleep at night are often helpful.
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Some sufferers find sound generators that create a soft pleasant sound is helpful in masking the underlying noise. The masking noise works best if it is slightly louder than the ringing. The machines may produce random tones, music or other soft tones. A tabletop sound generator may be helpful at night, especially is the condition is mild, yet keeps you awake at night.
Neural stimulation offers a fairly new method of relieving very loud tinnitus that does not go away. This palm sized device uses headphones in delivering an acoustic signal, along with music. The treatment is thought to stimulate neural circuit changes in the brain to desensitize the sufferer to the noise. Research with a significant number of volunteers has shown the device as effective at reducing one’s symptoms.
If the individual also suffers severe hearing loss, cochlear implants may be helpful. The implant allows sound to bypass the damaged portion of the individual’s inner ear by sending electrical signals to stimulate the auditory nerve. The unit allows outside sounds to enter the hearing center of the nerve, masking the symptoms of tinnitus and stimulating changes within the neural circuits.
Doctors also sometimes prescribe medication. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs can help to improve one’s sleep patterns and moods. In addition, there are some over the counter medications available that may provide relief.
Finding effective tinnitus treatment is sometimes difficult. Some of the medications commonly prescribed simply do not work for all individuals with the condition. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are expensive and out of the reach of many sufferers. In addition, the cochlear implant requires surgery, which may not be an option. If you are unable to find relief from the condition, speak with your doctor and ask for his or her recommendation for an effective tinnitus treatment.