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Tinnitus ("TIN-a-tus" or "Tin-EYE-tus") is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears or head when no external sound is present. In most cases, tinnitus is a subjective noise, meaning only the person experiencing it can hear it. Typically, people describe the sound as "ringing in the ears," though others describe it as hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring and even chirping. Tinnitus can be sporadic or constant, with volume ranging from subtle to debilitating.
The most common cause is exposure to loud noise — though head injuries, medications, earwax, and assorted other conditions are suspected of causing tinnitus.
According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), 50 million individuals in the United States experience tinnitus to some degree, or nearly 1 in 6 people.
Currently, there is no known cure for tinnitus: nothing has been shown to actually make the sound stop. However, there are ways to treat tinnitus, which have been proven to provide relief – including sound therapy. The ATA recommends that anyone with tinnitus should see a hearing professional experienced in tinnitus treatment.
While tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, it can–for obvious reasons–impede hearing. And in many cases, tinnitus and hearing loss are diagnosed together, as both can result from noise-induced damage to the ears.
Amplification with hearing aids has been proven to bring relief to people experiencing tinnitus, as they may boost ambient sounds that can naturally mask or cover the tinnitus.
A consultation and evaluation with a hearing professional experienced in tinnitus is recommended for people experiencing tinnitus. Call 888.378.2912 to talk to a specialist and schedule an appointment with a tinnitus hearing professional in your area.