Tinnitus is a common medical condition in which sufferers complain of persistent ringing in the ears. Others describe it as a whistling, clicking, hissing, roaring, buzzing, or whooshing sound that simply doesn’t go away.
Tinnitus affects roughly 15% of the general population, with men and women impacted equally. In just the US alone, this means there are over 50 million Americans who suffer from varying degrees of high-pitched ringing.
Roughly 90% of all tinnitus patients are diagnosed with some level of hearing loss. However, a significant percentage of sufferers notice their symptoms decrease when using assistive technologies like hearing aids.
For most patients, tinnitus is a tolerable annoyance. But for roughly 10% of sufferers, the ringing can lead to emotional anguish and mental distress. Additional symptoms include memory loss, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
Is Tinnitus Curable?
Although there is no known cure for tinnitus, the condition is manageable with proper treatment.
Sound therapy, for example, can help decrease the ringing sensation by stimulating specific regions of the brain’s sound processing system.
It’s also possible to habituate oneself to tinnitus through acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) – a type of psychological counseling.
However, diagnosis is the first step in effective tinnitus management. And this begins with a thorough hearing test performed by a licensed audiologist. Based on the results of these evaluations, it’s possible to choose the most appropriate treatment option.
Want Relief from the Ringing?
If you or a loved one currently suffers from persistent ringing in the ears, we may be able to help.
Dr. Kirsten McWilliams, Audiologist and Partner at The Hearing Solution, is board certified in Tinnitus Management by the American Board of Audiology.
To learn more about our approach to treating tinnitus, schedule a consultation with The Hearing Solution today by calling (916) 646-2471 or click the button below to request an appointment with one of our Audiologists.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of a sound without an external sound source and is most often described as a high-pitched ringing or buzzing.
The condition actually originates in the area of the brain responsible for processing sound. When one is no longer able to hear that frequency, their brain works overtime to fill in the gaps.
Most people experience some type of high-pitch ringing in their lifetimes – usually after attending a loud concert or operating heavy machinery.