What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus (“TIN-a-tus” or “Tin-EYE-tus”) is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears when no external sound is present. In most cases, tinnitus is a subjective noise, meaning only the sufferer can hear it. Typically, sufferers describe the sound as “ringing in ears,” though others describe it as hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring and even chirping.
The effects of tinnitus are real
Because tinnitus is subjective, it affects people in different ways. For some, it’s a minor annoyance, one they can deal with easily. For others, it can result in more serious issues, such as:
- Long-term sleep disruption
- Changes in cognitive ability
- An inability to concentrate (e.g., completing tasks or reading)
- Stress in relationships
- Anxiety and depression
- Employment challenges
Sadly, there is no known cure…
Currently, there is no known tinnitus cure. No surgery or pill has been shown to get rid of tinnitus in any clinically accepted study.
…but there is relief
According to the American Tinnitus Association, there are ways to get tinnitus relief, including counseling and sound therapy. They recommend that anyone with tinnitus should see a hearing healthcare professional or ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) experienced in tinnitus treatment.
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Hearing aids can be an effective part of any sound therapy
Sound therapy can be effective in treating tinnitus because it may make the tinnitus less noticeable or mask the tinnitus. Hearing aids may be included as a critical component of a sound therapy program.
Different products work in different ways
Although most hearing aids can alleviate tinnitus, certain hearing aids have built-in technology specifically for tinnitus relief. Work with your hearing healthcare professional to see which one is right for you.