Tinnitus can be described as a ringing, whirring, clicking or buzzing sound in the ears that isn’t present in the environment. Tinnitus affects some 50 million Americans at some time during their life. It can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. Tinnitus may be temporary or constant. It can affect one or both ears. Gavin Audiology and Hearing Aids helps people with tinnitus as well as hearing loss.
Types of tinnitus
There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective tinnitus is the most common type of tinnitus. With subjective tinnitus, only the individual with tinnitus symptoms can hear the sound. Almost all tinnitus is subjective tinnitus.
Objective tinnitus can be pulsatile tinnitus or somatic tinnitus. It represents only one percent of tinnitus cases. With this form of tinnitus, the tinnitus sound can be heard by others close by. It is caused by increased blood flow or spasms in the inner ear.
Tinnitus and hearing loss
One of the most common causes of tinnitus is undiagnosed hearing loss. Researchers believe that in the absence of decreased auditory input, the brain generates sound. Once the hearing loss is treated, background noise is restored to normal levels, auditory input increases and the tinnitus becomes less noticeable.
Other causes of tinnitus
Tinnitus causes may be as simple as impacted ear wax or as complex as Meniere’s Disease. In addition to hearing loss, tinnitus may be caused by:
- Ototoxic medication
- Head, ear or neck injury
- Exposure to loud noise
- Ear infection
- Vascular disorders
If you or a loved one are bothered by tinnitus, make an appointment right away for a tinnitus evaluation at Gavin Audiology.
Tinnitus cannot be cured, but treatment of the underlying condition can alleviate the condition. If there is a medical cause for tinnitus, treatment of the medical cause will reduce or eliminate the tinnitus. Treating an ear infection or removing impacted earwax will stop the tinnitus if this is the cause.
Because hearing loss and tinnitus are linked, treating the hearing loss can bring relief for the tinnitus. Gavin Audiology and Hearing Aids offers tinnitus management systems to suit your specific needs.