But for an estimated one in ten Americans, that ringing is a frequent or even constant presence.
For many, the relentless invisible tone humming behind the scenes from morning until night is more than an annoyance. It’s a source of serious and sometimes debilitating distress.
Tinnitus, defined by the Journal of the American Medical Association as…“a symptom characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external stimulus” is an extremely common problem.
These sounds can range from a phantom, high-pitched whining to buzzing, ringing or even hissing noises arising from seemingly nowhere in the auditory system.
Contrary to popular belief, tinnitus isn’t itself a condition. Rather it’s a symptom that accompanies a wide array of other conditions. The most common of these is hearing loss. Particularly the type that arises from extended exposure to loud noise.
But tinnitus is also associated with head and neck injuries. Problems with the vestibular system inside the ear canal. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, hypertension, smoking and even depression.
Stress can make the problem worse, which then results in a feedback loop. The tinnitus causes stress, which increases the severity of the problem, causing more stress … You can see where this is going.
For some patients, tinnitus is just something that happens in the background.
It’s an intermittent issue that comes in and out at random and doesn’t bother them too much. But when it becomes an ever-present threat. Lurking just behind the curtain, it can begin to dominate a person’s life.
Sleep, focus and regular emotional processing can become almost impossible. For these unlucky folks, it can feel like the sound is slowly driving them crazy. For some, it’s actually true.
Because tinnitus arises from so many different underlying diseases, it’s often said that there’s no cure.
Luckily, in my own clinic, I’ve found that 70 to 80 percent of cases find relief after addressing the underlying hearing loss.
Whatever the cause or severity of your tinnitus, your first step is the same. A comprehensive hearing test administered by an experienced hearing professional.
They will determine whether your tinnitus is the result of an underlying health condition. And give you key guidance on how to proceed and find lasting relief.
There’s no need for you to suffer with your ears literally ringing for the rest of your life. If you’re ready to do something about it, give me a call at 617-934-6987.
START YOUR JOURNEY TO YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE’S BETTER HEARING:
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1. Find out what the most important aspects are in choosing the right audiologist in Metro Boston, or the South Shore for you or your loved one by reading our free report, “What to expect during your hearing consultation.”
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