Tinnitus and Sound Therapy
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. While it is commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can include many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, humming, and clicking. Tinnitus can be both a temporary condition or an ongoing health issue.
According to the American Tinnitus Association, approximately 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, and for 20 million it is a chronic and bothersome condition. For approximately 2 million, it is extreme and debilitating.
What is a Tinnitus Evaluation?
Your audiologist may recommend a tinnitus evaluation to determine the type, severity, and nature of your tinnitus. Results of this testing will help to determine the best therapy options.
What Kind of Treatments are Available?
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are options to make it less bothersome and reduce the perception of tinnitus severity. For some patients, amplification alone is enough to provide a "masking effect" on the tinnitus and make it seem less bothersome and loud. For others, combination devices (hearing aids plus tinnitus sound therapy) are recommended. The sound therapy in these devices can be similar to a "white noise" or can be tonal/musical in nature. Neuromonics tinnitus treatment is also available, when appropriate. For some patients, talk therapy is recommended with a counselor to help reduce the distress caused by more severe tinnitus. Even though there may be no cure for tinnitus, a great deal can be done to lessen the burden of it and it's impact on quality of life.
The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) is an excellent resource for further information regarding tinnitus: https://www.ata.org