WHAT IS TINNITUS?
Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. Often a symptom of underlying hearing issues, Tinnitus is often described as a ringing or seashell sound, and even music. An estimated fifty million Americans (1 out of 5 individuals) experience some degree of tinnitus during their lifetime, according to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA). Of those fifty million, approximately sixteen million experience symptoms disturbing enough to seek medical attention. If that’s you, we can help!
WHAT WE DO FOR TINNITUS PATIENTS
Each patient will begin by completing a hearing and tinnitus diagnostic assessment. This evaluation helps us identify, quantify, manage your tinnitus and:
- Evaluate how your tinnitus is perceived
- Set a baseline for follow-up
- Determine any underlying medical causes
- Discuss your concerns
- Recommend a management plan
While there is currently not a cure for tinnitus, there are several treatment options that can bring relief to someone suffering from its impact. Management options can range from amplification with tinnitus features, sound therapy, counseling, education, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness therapy.
Hearing aids benefit a significant number of patients suffering from tinnitus. Research shows patients who have hearing aids fit by a professional using comprehensive protocols, such as those used at Hearing Health Clinic, are twice as likely to experience tinnitus relief compared to those fit at over-the-counter, big-box, or hearing aid retail stores. Kochkin, et al, 2011
Sound therapy uses external sounds, either through hearing aids or other sound generating devices, to provide relief from tinnitus. Paired with a structured approach and an audiologist’s guidance, sound therapy is a vital part tinnitus management. Sound therapy differs from masking tinnitus, which distracts attention away from the tinnitus, by suppressing the tinnitus. Research suggests that sound therapy without Audiology guidance/counseling is unlikely to work.
Medications and Supplements
Unfortunately, there are no FDA-approved drug therapies for tinnitus; no current medications provide than a placebo effect. However, we do recommend a healthy diet with low consumption of caffeine for tinnitus sufferers.