Tinnitus

What we know and what we can do to help.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is commonly described as a ringing in the ears, but it also can sound like roaring, clicking, hissing, or buzzing. It may be soft or loud, high pitched or low pitched. You might hear it in either one or both ears. Roughly 10 percent of the adult population of the United States has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes in the past year. This amounts to nearly 25 million Americans.

Tinnitus is not a disease. It is a symptom that something is wrong in the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain, and the parts of the brain that process sound. 

Causes of Tinnitus

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Ear and Sinus Infections

Meniere’s Disease

Brain Tumors

Hormonal Changes in Women

Earwax

Are There Treatments for Tinnitus?

E

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy has, through research, proven to be the most commonly effective treatment of tinnitus. In many cases, tinnitus is a result of the brain attempting to compensate for sounds it is being deprived of. Sound therapy gently replaces those sounds, reducing the degree to which patients notice their tinnitus.

E

The Levo System

The Levo System, an FDA-cleared medical device, is designed to be used while sleeping. Flex fit earbuds, designed for comfort during sleep, allow for optimal positioning and controlled delivery of sound therapy. Research shows the brain learns to “ignore” the tinnitus sound, thereby improving a patient’s quality of life. 

E

Neuromonics

The Neuromonics Oasis, a non-invasive, compact, lightweight device uses music programmed for each patient’s individual audiological profile – to deliver a neural stimulus that targets the brain’s auditory pathways. Targeting the neurological processes of tinnitus: its audiological, attention-based and emotional aspects.

E

Counseling

Counseling helps you learn how to cope with your tinnitus. Most counseling programs have an educational component to help you understand what goes on in the brain to cause tinnitus. Some counseling programs also will help you change the way you think about and react to your tinnitus. 

Does Everyone with Hearing Loss Develop Tinnitus?

Why some people with hearing loss develop tinnitus—a buzzing or ringing sound in the ears in the absence of any real sound—and others don’t has puzzled scientists for years. Almost all cases of tinnitus are preceded by a loss of hearing as the result of damage to the inner ear from aging, injury, or long-term exposure to loud noise, but experts estimate that only a third of those with hearing loss will go on to develop tinnitus

Faq

Are there different types of tinnitus?

Types of tinnitus

There are two different categories or types of tinnitus.

Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus only you can hear. This is the most common type of tinnitus. It can be caused by ear problems in your outer, middle or inner ear. It also can be caused by problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound.

Objective tinnitus (believe it or not) is tinnitus your doctor can hear when he or she does an examination. This rare type of tinnitus may be caused by a blood vessel problem, an inner ear bone condition or muscle contractions.

Who is the typical person suffering from tinnitus?

Of adults ages 65 and older in the United States, 12.3 percent of men and nearly 14 percent of women are affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified more frequently in white individuals and the prevalence of tinnitus is almost twice as frequent in the South as in the Northeast.

Is tinnitus always heard in both ears?

Tinnitus can be perceived in both ears, one ear or in some patients in the middle of the head and not in the ear.

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