Care for Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a condition that causes the sound of a ringing, buzzing, roaring or clicking inside the head. These sounds may be continuous, come and go, occur in one or both ears, and vary in pitch. Over 50 million people in the United States have some degree of tinnitus, and at least 2 million people have such a severe case of tinnitus that it limits their daily activities, according to the American Tinnitus Association.
If you have tinnitus, you may hear sounds in your head. The sounds may be so severe that they make it difficult for you sleep.
Common symptoms of tinnitus include:
- Ringing in the ears
If you experience these symptoms and would like relief, speak with a Williamsport audiologist at UPMC.
Tinnitus is not a disease, but rather a sign that something is not functioning properly in the auditory system (which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain, and parts of the brain that process sound).
Generally, the causes of tinnitus can include:
- Buildup of wax
- Certain types of medication
- Damage to the nerve endings in the inner ear
- Exposure to loud noises
- Head or neck injury
- High or low blood pressure
- Jaw misalignment
- Reaction to certain medications
- Stiffening of bones in the middle ear
- Thyroid disorders
Tinnitus is often the first sign of hearing loss in older adults.
Treatment for tinnitus will depend on the severity of your condition, your age and overall health, your medical history, your ability to tolerate certain medications, therapies or procedures, and your personal preference.
Your doctor may suggest the following options for tinnitus treatment:
- Counseling (a counselor or support group can provide encouragement)
- Hearing aids (may help make some sounds louder if you have hearing loss)
- Maskers (a small electronic device that creates sound to mask tinnitus symptoms)
- Medications (may help ease symptoms of a problem related to tinnitus)
- Relaxing (may provide relief from the stress of tinnitus for some people)
- Retraining therapy (a combination of maskers and counseling)
While there is no cure for tinnitus, audiologists at UPMC can help you find relief from your symptoms, allowing you to live a more normal life.
UPMC offers testing and treatment for presbycusis in Williamsport and Bloomsburg, PA.