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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that around 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus.
Tinnitus is defined as the perception of a sound that has no external source. Some of the more common sounds reported are: ringing, humming, buzzing, and cricket-like, according to Dr. Richard Tyler, PhD, from the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). Tinnitus also can be constant or occasional and change in tone and loudness as well. Tinnitus is not a ‘phantom sound’. There is neural activity in your brain that you are hearing as your tinnitus (Tyler).
Common causes of tinnitus:
- Hearing Loss
- Diet/Lifestyle (High caffeine, high salt intake)
Top Four Tips For Managing Tinnitus
- Avoid possible irritants. Reduce your exposure to nerve stimulants such as coffee and nicotine which can increase your tinnitus.
- Cover up the noise. In a quiet setting, a fan, soft music or low-volume radio static may help mask the noise from tinnitus.
- Manage stress and get adequate rest. Stress often increases the symptom of tinnitus. Stress management, whether through relaxation therapy, biofeedback or exercise, may provide some relief. You should make every attempt to obtain adequate rest and avoid fatigue because generally patients who are tired seem to notice their tinnitus more.
- Hearing aids. Many hearing aids that are available today can help reduce the tinnitus. Tinnitus maskers are also available in many models that help alleviate the sound. It generates a noise which prevents the wearer from hearing his or her own symptom. It is based on the principle that most individuals with tinnitus can better tolerate outside noise than they can their own noise. According to a recent study done by the Better Hearing Institute, 27.8% of hearing aid users reported receiving moderate to substantial reduction in their tinnitus when using their hearing aids.
If you or someone you know suffers from tinnitus, call (412) 851-9500 to schedule a complimentary Tinnitus evaluation today!!
By Megan Myers, AuD, CCC-A