What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound when there is no actual sound present. Tinnitus can be described as a chronic ringing, whistling, hissing, humming, roaring, buzzing, or chirping in the ears or head.
What should I do about my Tinnitus?
You should see an ear, nose, and throat physician to rule out any medical condition that may be associated with tinnitus.
You should have a hearing evaluation to determine whether you are correctly processing speech and other sounds. These tests may also reveal whether or not you perceive loudness levels in the usual way and if your ears are functioning properly.
You should learn about the different options for treatment / coping.
- Amplification - allows wearer to hear more background sounds and takes the focus off the tinnitus.
- Masking - resembles a hearing aid; produces noise similar to the pitch of the tinnitus to distract the wearer (a bedside masker can also be used if the tinnitus disrupts sleep).
- Biofeedback - learning to control various body functions that contribute to the tinnitus such as blood pressure, stress, and anxiety.
- Drug Therapy - for anxiety, sleep difficulties and depression.
- Counseling - relaxation therapy and avoidance of noise exposure.
- Auditory Habituation – attempts to retrain the ear to ignore (or habituate to) the tinnitus.