Tinnitus is a condition that causes people to hear ringing, buzzing, hissing, or other noises in their ears or head. The noises can be constant or intermittent, and they may be loud or soft. Tinnitus can be disruptive and make it difficult to concentrate, sleep, and enjoy life.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for tinnitus, but there are a number of options that can help to reduce the symptoms.
Causes of Tinnitus
The exact cause of tinnitus is not fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. The hair cells are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. When the hair cells are damaged, they can send incorrect signals to the brain, which is perceived as tinnitus.
There are a number of factors that can damage the hair cells in the inner ear, including the following:
Exposure to Loud Noise
This is the most common cause of tinnitus. Prolonged exposure to loud noise, such as from concerts, machinery, or firearms, can damage the hair cells and lead to tinnitus.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
As people age, the hair cells in the inner ear naturally decline. This can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.
Some medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and antibiotics, can cause tinnitus as a side effect.
Head or Neck Injuries
A head or neck injury can damage the structures in the ear or the nerve that carries sound signals to the brain. This can lead to tinnitus.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
The symptoms of tinnitus can vary from person to person. The most common sign is when your ears ring. The condition can also be perceived as buzzing, hissing, whistling, or clicking. The noises can be constant or intermittent, and they may be loud or soft.
In some cases, tinnitus can cause other symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems
Treatment Options for Tinnitus
There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are a number of treatment options that can help reduce the symptoms. The best treatment option for you will depend on the severity of your tinnitus and your individual needs. Some of the treatment options for tinnitus include the following:
This involves using devices that produce soothing sounds to mask the tinnitus noises. Sound therapy can be very effective in reducing the annoyance of tinnitus.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy can help people change the way they think about and react to tinnitus, which can reduce the distress it causes. CBT can be helpful for people who find that tinnitus is causing them anxiety or depression.
Some medications have been shown to be helpful for tinnitus, but they are not effective for everyone. Medications for tinnitus are usually used in conjunction with other treatment options.
For some patients, surgery may be invaluable in treating tinnitus. However, it does not always relieve symptoms and can have risks.
When to Visit an ENT Doctor for Tinnitus
If you are experiencing tinnitus, it is important to see an ENT doctor (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
You should also see an ENT doctor if your tinnitus is:
- Very loud or bothersome
- Interfering with your sleep or daily activities
- New or sudden
- Associated with other symptoms, such as hearing loss, dizziness, or pain
An ENT doctor will perform a physical examination of your ears, nose, and throat. They may also order hearing tests, imaging tests, or blood tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions. To address or treat the underlying causes, the ENT doctor will discuss the best treatment options with you.
Treatment for Tinnitus in Georgetown, TX
Tinnitus can be a very disruptive condition, but there are a number of treatment options that can help reduce the symptoms. If you are experiencing tinnitus, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Once any underlying conditions have been treated, you can discuss the best treatment options with your doctor. Visit them right away when your ears ring or if you experience other symptoms.
Looking for treatment for when your ears ring? You can trust Georgetown ENT. Our top healthcare providers will be with you every step, from diagnosis to recovery. We will also make sure you receive nothing short of the best quality care. You may reach our helpful staff today at (512) 869-0604, so we can best assist you. You can also book a visit to the best ENT doctor in Georgetown by using our secure online appointment request form.
We look forward to helping you take care of your precious ears!