According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 11% of Americans experienced tinnitus (a perceived ringing in the ears) in 2014. Though it is a common condition, it can nevertheless prove to be frustrating, especially if it becomes chronic. Read below to learn more about tinnitus, what it really is, and how your ear, nose, and throat doctors at Mount Airy ENT Head and Neck Audiology can help you find relief!
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the symptom of another, underlying condition. Hearing loss, circulatory system problems, or even an ear injury all may cause tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus occurs when only you can hear the ringing and is the most common form of the condition. Much rarer than subjective tinnitus, however, is objective tinnitus, which can be heard by a doctor during an examination, and often comes from a blood vessel, middle ear, or muscle issue.
Do I have tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a noise when no sound is present in your surrounding environment. Symptoms of tinnitus can vary depending on the present type of condition and its severity. The sounds heard can include,
- Ringing noise
- Roaring noise
- Buzzing noise
- Hissing noise
- Clicking noise
Some people may experience low-pitched sounds while others experience high-pitched squeals. Patients can have tinnitus in one or both ears and it can sometimes increase in volume so much that it affects your daily life. Similarly, patients may experience tinnitus at all times or only occasionally. If your tinnitus begins to cause concern or affect your daily life, you should speak with your doctor to find a treatment plan.
Treating tinnitus in Mount Airy, NC
The treatment for tinnitus depends on the specifics of each case. Your doctor will focus on diagnosing and treating the underlying condition which causes the tinnitus rather than treating the sound itself. In some cases, a procedure to remove impacted or built-up earwax can decrease or eliminate tinnitus all together. Other individuals may require noise suppression in the form of white noise machines or hearing aids to help their tinnitus. Devices to mask the sound are also available, while certain medications may help in some situations. Talk with your doctor to find the best tinnitus treatment for you.
For more information on tinnitus, please contact Dr. Barry Ellis at Mount Airy Ear, Nose, and Throat Head and Neck Audiology in Mount Airy, NC. Call (336) 673-3125 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ellis today!