Tinnitus affects up to 20% of Americans. It’s particularly troubling in many older adults. If you hear disruptive ringing or other strange noises in your ears, ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC can help. For tinnitus testing and treatment, call their Ashburn, Virginia, office now or click on the provided scheduling link.
Tinnitus occurs when you hear a sound that isn’t actually there. Most people describe tinnitus as ringing in the ears, but it can also sound like roaring, buzzing, humming, or clicking.
Tinnitus can be constant but can also be intermittent. You could have it in one or both ears.
Tinnitus is usually a sign of problems with your auditory system, including the ears, auditory nerve, and brain. But people with healthy auditory systems also experience tinnitus.
Some possible causes of tinnitus include:
Some medications can cause tinnitus when you first start taking them or when you're transitioning off them. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, more than 200 medications can cause tinnitus.
If your tinnitus causes irritation or disrupts your life in any way, it’s time to schedule an appointment at ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC. While tinnitus has no cure, there are many effective ways to reduce its effects.
Tinnitus treatment usually involves treating underlying conditions like vascular problems or ear infections, which can correct some cases of tinnitus.
If you don’t have an underlying health problem, masking the sound with a wearable sound generator is a leading treatment. These tiny sound machines, similar to hearing aids, deliver a masking noise in your ear.
You can also use tabletop masking devices in your home or workplace. Masking devices produce “shhhh” noises, music, or other sounds. The sound and level are adjustable to your preferences.
You might also benefit from tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), which teaches you to ignore the noise. TRT includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation therapy, and other strategies to help you live more comfortably with tinnitus.
You can combine TRT with masking or hearing aids based on your needs. Some people with tinnitus also benefit from nutritional supplements like Ginkgo biloba, zinc, and vitamin B12.
Avoiding tinnitus triggers, including loud noises (music and other sounds), sodium, caffeine, and smoking, can also ease your symptoms.
The ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC team is here to help with tinnitus. Call the office now or schedule an appointment online.