What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both the ears. The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by an external sound, and other people cannot hear it. The noise can be intermittent or continuous.

What causes Tinnitus?

It is one of the most common, but misunderstood conditions. A popular myth is that it is a type of disease. In fact, tinnitus is a symptom. The underlying diseases and conditions that can trigger tinnitus are at least as varied as people’s individual experiences of it, making treatment difficult. Its onset can be associated with a wide array of conditions involving:

What are the effects of tinnitus?

Tinnitus can cause various emotional problems, ranging from mild irritation to suicidal depression. Reported consequences include:

What should I do if I have Tinnitus?

Schedule an appointment with an audiologist. To rule out the cause and severity of your tinnitus. The audiologist will examine your ears and conduct hearing testing. The test results give information on choosing the best treatment options for the tinnitus. If any medical assistance is required, the patient will be referred to an ENT doctor.

How is tinnitus diagnosed?

Your doctor will examine your ears, head, and neck. Common tests include:

Hearing Test: - During the test, you will sit in a soundproof room wearing earphones that transmit specific sounds into one ear at a time. You will have to indicate when you can hear the sound, and your results will then be compared with results considered normal for your age. This can help rule out the possible causes of tinnitus.

Imaging tests: - Your doctor may ask for imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans, depending on the suspected cause of tinnitus.

What are the treatments available for tinnitus?

Sometimes, tinnitus is not completely curable, there are several treatments that may give you some relief. Not every treatment works for everyone, so one may need to try several techniques to find the most appropriate treatment depending on the cause and severity of their tinnitus.

Some forms of treatment include:

Masking - Masking involves using artificial sound to mask or cover up the ringing in the ear. Tinnitus is more noticeable in quiet settings. Another constant sound at a low level may mask the tinnitus and make it less noticeable.

Medicine or drug therapy: Some medicines may reduce the effect of tinnitus. However, only prescribed medicines should be used.

Use of Hearing Aids: Most of the people with tinnitus have some measurable degree of hearing loss, so amplification is an appropriate intervention for them. Hearing aid use has been shown to reduce tinnitus annoyance.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT): This therapy utilizes counseling to decrease tinnitus-evoked reactions and sound to decrease the strength of the tinnitus signal. This is usually administered by a trained professional.

The goal of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is:

Retraining Counseling:

The primary goal of counselling is to achieve reclassification of tinnitus to a category of neutral stimuli. This is achieved by teaching patients about mechanisms of the tinnitus origin. The counselling session contains:

Counselling: People with tinnitus may become depressed. Counselling may help people deal with the mental stress and distraction associated with tinnitus. Discussing the problem with your counselor or audiologist will be helpful.

What can I do to help myself?

Appropriate lifestyle changes can facilitate this process. Some of the recommended lifestyle changes are as follows:

What makes tinnitus worse?

Tinnitus can be frustrating and really challenging, but with proper care from an audiologist, tinnitus can be reduced. Tinnitus is also an indication of several other health conditions, so if you are facing tinnitus, we would suggest that you consult an ENT doctor or an audiologist immediately. For a Free tele consultation, give a missed call at 9654940400