Hearing Blog

What is Tinnitus?

What is Tinnitus?

Pronunciations: TINN-a-tus or ti-NIGHT-us

Tinnitus can be defined by a ringing or a buzzing in the ears. Tinnitus can be described as ringing, hissing, roaring, buzzing, whistling, whooshing, crickets, musical, or even a combination of sounds.

Nearly 50 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus. Of those 50 million, 20 million categorize their tinnitus as burdensome.

Tinnitus alone is not a condition, but rather an underlying symptom to a condition. At Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, our Physicians will work to identify any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your tinnitus. However, oftentimes, the cause of tinnitus is never found. Our audiologists will then begin the journey with you to help manage and understand your tinnitus and find the best tinnitus treatment options for you.

Hearing aids have been found to be a great treatment option when hearing loss accompanies tinnitus. Hearing aids help by stimulating the brain with other auditory signals which oftentimes decreases the perception of tinnitus.

Tinnitus maskers or sound generators help to make tinnitus less bothersome by giving the brain a competing sound to focus on rather than the irritating tinnitus. An example of a sound generator besides hearing aids is the Resound Tinnitus Relief App, an app that can be downloaded to a smart phone. There is also the sound pillow that has different sound bites to listen to, which can aid in the ability to sleep better. Again, the main point of these sound generators is to mix in with the tinnitus, allowing your brain to focus on a different sound besides the tinnitus.

Counseling is another large component to tinnitus treatment. The goal of counseling is to alter the negative emotions associated with tinnitus. A few components that can make tinnitus worse are increased stress and decreased sleep and relaxation.

At The Hearing Center we have two audiologists who specialize in tinnitus management, Dr. Szymialis. If you’re interested in scheduling a tinnitus consultation contact our office for an appointment.