Tinnitus is more than just an annoying condition. For individuals who suffer from chronic and constant ringing, whooshing, buzzing or whistling in the ears, the malady can be debilitating. Despite the fact that tinnitus is quite common, with more than 12 million Americans suffering from it each year, there is no cure. That’s because tinnitus can be caused by many different health conditions; in fact, it is a symptom and not a condition in and of its own.
The professionals at Mountain Ear, Nose and Throat Associates understand how tinnitus can negatively impact your quality of life; that’s why you can trust our staff to not only diagnose and provide solutions for your symptoms, but also provide the important information you need.
Causes of tinnitus
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, tinnitus can be caused be:
- Noise-induced hearing loss
- Ear and sinus infections
- Diseases of the heart or blood vessels
- Meniere’s disease
- Brain tumors
- Hormonal changes in women (common in pregnant women)
- Thyroid abnormalities
Many medications can cause tinnitus as well. These types of medications are known as ototoxic medications. Common, everyday medications that can cause tinnitus include:
- Ibuprofen or naproxen
- Some blood pressure and heart medicines
- Cancer medications
Other causes, usually external, of tinnitus include:
- Trauma to the ear
- Loud noise, such as an explosion or construction work
- Untreated or recurrent ear infections
- Loud music or noise exposure for a prolonged period of time
Treatment options for tinnitus
As noted, there are many different causes of tinnitus. As such, treatment options vary. While none of the treatment options are proven to cure a person of tinnitus, the treatments can help mask the common symptoms and make them more bearable.
Treatment options include:
- Hearing aids
- Sound machines
- Stress reduction techniques
- Biofeedback therapy
- Avoidance of certain drugs, including ototoxic medications, caffeine and aspirin
Hearing aids are one of the most common treatments for tinnitus because they offer masking features that help drown out the ringing, buzzing or whooshing sensations you’re experiencing. Sound machines, stress reduction techniques and biofeedback therapy all offer relief as well, depending on your symptoms and the severity of your tinnitus.
Contact Mountain Ear, Nose and Throat Associates to find out if the symptoms you’re experiencing are tinnitus and what we can do to help you find the relief you deserve.