Tinnitus is the perception of sounds or noises in the ears without an external sound source, and it is present in 15% of people. Tinnitus can be caused by many things, including noise exposure, ear infections, stress, high blood pressure, medications, diet, and even an excessive amount of ear wax. Tinnitus can be described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, or humming in the ears, and it is most often subjective, meaning others around you are not able to hear it while it’s happening. It may be constant or intermittent with some patients reporting that it is only noticed at night or when they are in a quiet environment.
The sensation of tinnitus cannot only become bothersome and overwhelming to those who suffer from it, but it can also be associated with hearing loss or inner ear damage. While there is no cure, tinnitus management and counseling have proven to be beneficial for many patients, allowing them to live more easily without this burden. Visiting an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician as well as an audiologist is the first step to treating your tinnitus.
While your physician and audiologist will develop a specific treatment plan, you can manage your tinnitus in multiple ways:
- Reduce stress
- Eliminate or lessen caffeine from your diet
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
- Consider hearing amplification with tinnitus therapy
- Discuss possible tinnitus-causing medications with your doctor
- Use white noise and sound machines to mask the tinnitus
How We Can Help
Audiologist Mindy Stejskal specializes in tinnitus treatment and management. She will begin by having you fill out a Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) to define the severity of your tinnitus. She will also perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you have any further hearing issues or damage. Mindy will discuss the possible causes and counsel you on an individualized plan to best offer relief for your tinnitus.
Hearing aids with Zen tones may also be a possible treatment in managing your tinnitus. While amplification does not cure tinnitus, hearing aids can be helpful in reducing the perceived severity of tinnitus. Mindy and our team of audiologists will help you explore the solutions right for you, your lifestyle, and your tinnitus.