While hearing aids are excellent for boosting individual’s ability to pick up sounds beyond their reach, many do not know that these devices can enable users to become deaf to some sounds as well. Sounds that do not in reality exist at all.
This experience is usually called tinnitus, a clinical problem where the affected hear consistent sounds that generally aren’t present in their surroundings. Many tinnitus patients report the relentless noises as a buzzing, ringing, hissing, whirring, and even clicking sound, however it could be any variety of consistent noise that isn’t originating from a tangible source.
Despite the serious effects that these sounds can impose on an individual’s life and contentment, many tinnitus patients do not speak openly about it, so perhaps it’s surprising to learn that one out of every five individuals are managing some level of this particular problem. This lack of awareness and discussion is likely the result of the many questions that cannot be answered about tinnitus, due to its frequently unpredictable root cause and variations.
Just what really leads to tinnitus anyhow?
Tinnitus can arise from a lengthy list of causes, however most tinnitus problems are the consequence of damage to the ear and/or auditory system. And although hearing loss frequently goes along with tinnitus, there are more than 200 clinical problems that involve tinnitus as a symptom, in addition to a selection of other reasons.
Some of the most common causes of tinnitus are as follows:
Fortunately for tinnitus patients, there are more therapy options now than ever. Many patients find relief through hearing aids specially designed to silence the relentless noises heard with tinnitus. These devices can help neutralize the tones that the tinnitus sufferers are experiencing by reducing their volume in the amplifier, and in some cases, by even training the brain to no longer register the offending sounds. And given that more than fifty percent of tinnitus patients are also experiencing hearing loss, these hearing aids are helpful for both.
Beyond hearing aids as a treatment for tinnitus, there are a wide variety of sound treatments, relaxation therapies, pharmaceuticals, and even phone applications to alleviate the pain of coping with tinnitus. While there is no complete remedy for tinnitus just yet, ongoing research along with cutting-edge techniques are bringing us closer than ever before.