What is Tinnitus?

Have you ever been to a loud concert or maybe been close to a firearm when it goes off? After the show or after the gunshot you might have had a ringing sensation in your ears. After a few moments the ringing subsides and your hearing returns to normal. But what if the ringing didn’t stop?

This is the case for an estimated 50 million people in the U.S. alone who suffer from the condition known as Tinnitus. Tinnitus is the name given to the perception of sound in the ear when there is no external sound present. While ringing in the ear is the most common sound experienced, it is just one of many sounds a person suffering with tinnitus can hear.

Is Tinnitus a Disease?

Tinnitus itself is not a disease, but is a condition that arises from other underlying causes. Everything from excessive exposure to loud sounds, ear infections, neurological damage (such as Multiple Sclerosis), or any other number of causes can lead to onset tinnitus. For most people with some form of tinnitus their symptoms are minute and tolerable, for some however it is a significant, sometimes life altering condition.

While there currently is no cure for tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) a cure is not only possible but probable. As more research and resources are devoted to finding a cure for tinnitus a solution is likely to come sooner rather than later. However you don’t have to wait, in the meantime there are many different treatments available for patients with tinnitus to help make the symptoms more manageable.

Usually trying to find the underlying cause of the patient’s form of tinnitus is the main treatment which, in most cases usually yields improvements in the severity of the individual’s symptoms. Therapy has also been shown to have a positive effect on those with tinnitus.

The main problem with tinnitus is many who suffer from it never seek medical attention for their tinnitus. Of the 50 million estimated to have tinnitus in the United States, only 16 million actively search and seek out help. Many are in denial or embarrassed to admit they may have something wrong.

Like any other disease, condition, or illness it takes the individual admitting that they have something wrong before the right steps can be made to find a remedy. If you feel like you have one or more symptoms of tinnitus or have some other form of hearing loss or impairment the first step towards clear hearing is always scheduling a consultation with your local Audiologist.


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