At night, when you go to bed, do you hear crickets? Well, maybe not actual live crickets, but a noticeable high pitch, chirping sound that you only hear when it gets quiet? Or how about a low pitch humming sound that is constant and difficult to ignore? Or what about a loud roaring sound that just won’t go away? No matter what the sound is, if it is bothersome and constant, you may have tinnitus and you should consult with your Audiologist for the best recommendations for dealing with your tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus comes from the Latin word for ringing. Tinnitus is a sound in the ear that comes from inside your head such as a ringing, buzzing, whistling or chirping – without the presence of an external sound.  It may be intermittent, constant or fluctuant, mild or severe, and may vary from a low roaring sensation to a high pitched type of sound. Tinnitus is not a disease; it is a very common disorder. Ringing in the ears is a symptom that is often associated with hearing loss and possibly other medical conditions. Statistics report that it affects over 25 million Americans. Tinnitus can also be a result of exposure to too much loud noise, hearing loss, medications, balance problems, or medical conditions. Tinnitus can be present in one of your ears or both of your ears. Sometimes certain events may trigger your tinnitus, such as a dizzy spell.

Types of Treatment

Currently, there is no definite treatment for tinnitus; however, sound masking devices, hearing aids, medications, healthy nutrition, and surgery are among a few options for dealing with tinnitus.

Sound Masking Device
Is your tinnitus easier to deal with in the day, than at night? A sound masking device may be ideal to help mitigate the effects of your tinnitus. Tinnitus is often perceived as being louder in the absence of noise. Sound maskers could help to reduce your tinnitus by playing sound in the absence of noise. Consult with our staff to find out the best sound masking device options for you.

Hearing aids
Hearing aids are the most popular treatment for tinnitus. Tinnitus maskers inside of hearing aids make it easy for hearing aid wearers to also receive effective tinnitus therapy without the hassle of adding additional sound masking devices. Many hearing aids have a built in tinnitus masking option. Be sure to ask about this option at your next appointment.

Certain medications may provide relief from tinnitus. However, it is important to consult with your primary care physician prior to taking any medicine.

Do you have too much sodium in your diet? Research has proven that tinnitus is exacerbated by too much salt intake. You may wish to reduce your salt intake to mitigate the effects of your tinnitus. Your Audiologist can point you in the right direction and provide you with proper recommendations for changing your diet.