Tinnitus is of sound inside the ear or head when no external sound is present. It is often referred to as ”ringing in the ears,” although some people hear buzzing, hissing, roaring, whistling, pulsating, chirping, or clicking. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones. Its’ perceived volume can range from very soft to extremely loud.
What causes tinnitus?
The exact cause (or causes) of tinnitus is not known in every case. There are, however, several likely factors which may cause tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse: noise-induced hearing loss, wax build-up in the ear canal, certain medications, ear or sinus infections, age-related hearing loss, ear diseases and disorders, jaw misalignment, cardiovascular disease, certain types of tumours, thyroid disorders, head and neck trauma and many others. Of these factors, exposure to loud noises and hearing loss are the most probable causes of tinnitus.
What are the options for tinnitus management and treatment?
There are many options for people who experience tinnitus. Normally they wear hearing aids to help cover up their tinnitus (by listening more to the environmental sound instead of the noise inside the ear), some wear tinnitus maskers. Additionally, there are combined tinnitus maskers and hearing aids – all in one unit! Some patients require counseling to help them develop strategies to manage their tinnitus.