February is Tinnitus Awareness Month, and each year Ascent Audiology and Hearing promotes current therapies and hearing aid best practices for those that are troubled by tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus can be an annoying and sometimes debilitating medical condition for those that complain they hear “ringing in my ears.”
If you wear hearing aids and still suffer from ringing in your ears or wonder if hearing aids would help with your tinnitus problems, we are here to help you understand your options.
What is Tinnitus?
Often, tinnitus is a secondary condition related to hearing loss, especially in older people. As a matter of fact, about 80% of hearing aid wearers also suffer from tinnitus.
For many others, this faint noise that is similar to a constant buzzing, hissing, or ringing sound can be related to activities that have damaged the patients’ auditory perceptions, such as:
- Ear and sinus infections
- Brain tumors
- Exposure to loud noises
- A side effect of certain medicines
When tinnitus persists for more than 6 months, the patient should undergo a thorough examination and evaluation by an audiologist.
An important part of the examination is determining if tinnitus is the primary medical problem or if it is secondary and caused by another medical issue.
How is it Diagnosed?
An audiologist can help determine if the tinnitus is due to earwax blockage, hearing loss, trauma to the head/ears, or if it is psychological. They may also detect which part of the hearing system is being affected – the outer ear, the middle ear, or the inner ear. Also, tinnitus may result from an abnormality in or near the brain’s hearing portion.
An audiologist can perform a symptom-based diagnosis. The patient is put in a sound-proof environment and asked to identify projected sounds. This test, along with others such as CT or MRI scans and lab tests, will help rule out other primary conditions.
The benefit of working with a hearing specialist is that they can help pinpoint the problem depending on what type of noise or sounds the patient is hearing. A low-pitched or high-pitched ringing, clicking sounds, or constant humming can all point to a specific diagnosis.
Will Hearing Aids Stop My Tinnitus?
At Ascent Audiology and Hearing, we can help diagnose patients and review all their options based upon current medical best practices and the most innovative hearing aid technologies.
Many research studies have found that hearing aids, especially digital versions, can reduce tinnitus symptoms while improving hearing quality.
Digital hearing aids can be more closely tailored to fit the patient’s hearing needs and may include masking technology to drown out stray noise. Hearing aids can also help amplify quality sounds such as speech and normal environmental sounds.
Also, please speak to one of our experts who can explain new technologies such as biofeedback, relaxation techniques, medications to ease stress and promote better sleep, The Sound Pillow®, or The Listening Program® SLEEP, which incorporates sounds from nature sounds with ambient music to retrain how the brain interprets sound.
It’s time to silence the noise by making an appointment with one of the tinnitus specialists at Ascent Audiology & Hearing of Arizona. Please don’t wait any longer. Get in touch with our team today to schedule a consultation to see how we can help.