The Facts About Tinnitus
Tinnitus is an annoying ringing or other sound in one’s ears. While most people with the condition hear a ringing sound, other sounds can also occur. The sound is not external, but an internal sound that only the affected person can hear. There can be a number of causes for the problem. However it is more of a bother than a serious health issue in most people. It is still best to have prolonged ringing in one’s ears checked by a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying health condition that needs to receive medical attention.
Some causes for tinnitus include ear injury, hearing loss, or even a circulatory system disorder. Even so, as many as one out of five people can experience the problem at some point in life, particularly in their older years. For some people, the condition can get worse as they age. Sounds of even 70 decibels can cause hearing damage. Various drugs can cause the problem too. Although noise damage is the most frequent cause of tinnitus, it is important to rule out other causes so that the problem can be addressed appropriately for each person.
If there is an underlying cause for the tinnitus, treating that cause can be helpful. Proper treatment can improve or even eliminate the symptoms. Making sure any ear injury is treated promptly, getting a hearing aid if needed, and addressing any circulatory issues can possibly all be very important when dealing with this condition.
Sound and Other Therapies for Tinnitus
If the tinnitus is chronic, sometimes a doctor will prescribe a device to emit a masking sound that will help block the sufferer’s perception of the tinnitus. This sort of sound therapy can create great relief in many patients. Even though this is not a cure, it is a method to help make the condition much more bearable for many people for whom an underlying cause to this problem cannot be found. Other sound therapies can be very innovative. One therapy involves creating special music for the patient in which the frequency of the tinnitus tone is removed from songs that the person enjoys. Removing the sound that is already playing helps reduce the perception of the extra sound. Many other therapies exist, including surgery in appropriate cases.
To prevent tinnitus, it is important to take excellent care of one’s hearing and ears. Wearing adequate noise protection in loud environments can help a great deal. It is critical not to turn up headphones too loudly when listening to music. Treating ear infections promptly is also very helpful. Also, it is a good idea to be aware of any medications one is taking that might affect hearing and to closely monitor their effects. Having a doctor carefully cleanse the ear canal of any excess ear wax build-up or debris can also be a good preventive measure. Proper prevention is much easier than trying to treat the problem after it occurs.