Do You Need Treatment for Tinnitus?
People who experience tinnitus can find it very stressful to deal with. While there is no cure for chronic tinnitus, there are ways to manage the symptoms and improve your life. An audiologist can diagnose and treat tinnitus, making it easier to live with. If you're not sure whether you need treatment for tinnitus, the following advice will help you to understand if you have tinnitus and how different treatment options could help you.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a noise in your ear that has no external cause. You might hear it as a ringing, buzzing, whistling, humming or several other sounds. Everyone can describe the symptoms of tinnitus differently. Tinnitus is often related to hearing loss although it isn't always connected. It can be temporary, perhaps caused by an infection or a buildup of earwax or it can be a chronic symptom, which is less simple to treat but can still benefit from several treatment options.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are multiple possible causes for tinnitus. Sometimes tinnitus can be caused by an underlying problem that can be treated easily, such as an ear infection or wax buildup. Tinnitus is often related to some form of hearing loss but can also be connected to a number of other health conditions, including Meniere's disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, anxiety or depression. Some medications might also cause tinnitus.
If you are experiencing tinnitus, making an appointment with an audiologist is a good first step. When tinnitus is causing you to experience a drop in your quality of life, it's important to find out what might be causing it and how it can be treated. Your audiologist will discuss your medical history with you, as well as your lifestyle. They will examine your ears to check for any visible problems and they can carry out a hearing test to detect any hearing loss that you may have experienced.
What Treatments Are Available for Tinnitus?
Temporary causes of tinnitus can be addressed more easily than chronic tinnitus. Removing excess earwax can help with tinnitus and improve your hearing. Some lifestyle changes might help too, such as quitting smoking and alcohol.
Tinnitus is often linked to hearing loss, and hearing aids with masking features can help with both hearing loss and tinnitus. Sound machines also help to mask tinnitus and are available as wearable devices or machines you can keep at home. There's also tinnitus retraining therapy, which combines the use of masking devices and talk therapy to help you manage your tinnitus and change the way that you respond to it.
If you have tinnitus and it's affecting your life, you should see an audiologist. They will help with assessment and diagnosis and explore the different treatment options available with you. Tinnitus can be managed so that you can improve your quality of life and your hearing.