Thirty two percent of Americans ask: what is tinnitus?

Studies show tinnitus can affect up to 32% of Americans, and this number increases to around 75% in Americans who have hearing loss.  

Although the condition is so widespread, few people know what tinnitus really is or what to do about it.  

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions… 

What is tinnitus? 

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. For many people, this sound is constant, but for some it may come and go. Tinnitus is typically most noticeable in quiet environments.  

What causes tinnitus? 

The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss. Hearing loss is thought to cause tinnitus due to changes in the brain’s perception of sound. Tinnitus can also be caused by medication, ear infection, head injury, TMJ and various diseases including diabetes.  

When should I be concerned about my tinnitus? 

For a majority of patients, tinnitus is not a sign of a serious medical issue. However, if your tinnitus is pulsatile (sounds like a heartbeat), has gotten significantly louder, is only heard in one ear, or is accompanied by pain or dizziness it is important to talk to a medical doctor to rule out any medical concerns.  

What treatment options are available? 

If you think your tinnitus is related to a medication you are taking or a medical condition it is important to consult your medical doctor to be medically evaluated and treated. 

The best treatment option for most people is sound therapy. This can be in the form of white noise machines, fans, low level music and more. Low level sound keeps the brain occupied and can make tinnitus less noticeable. Some patients also see benefit from wearing hearing aids. Simply wearing the hearing aids to treat hearing loss can have a big impact. Sometimes a masker, or low-level sound, may be added into the hearing aid programming as well.  

Who should I see about my tinnitus? 

Once you have ruled out a medical cause for your tinnitus you should see an Audiologist. Audiologists are trained to evaluate your hearing and help you find a solution that works for you!  

To schedule an appointment for Tinnitus treatment in Tampa, St. Petersburg, South Pasadena, or Clearwater, Florida call Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182.  

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