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The Cause of Your Ringing May Never Be Known Is it Tinnitus? Tinnitus is the perception of sounds inside the head/ear that has no external sound source. Many people report sound of ringing, buzzing, humming, and pulsing in the ear. This sound may occur constantly or intermittently. People may suffer from bilateral (two ears) or unilateral (one ear) ringing. While the cause of this issue is often difficult to be determined, common possible causes include: excessive noise exposure, head trauma, typical aging processes, and pharmaceutical causes (ototoxic medications). The cause of your ringing may never be known. It may be accompanied by hearing loss and Hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is the abnormal perception that sounds that are only moderately loud are very loud and uncomfortable. It is a common issue suffered by many in the United States. For many, the issue is so severe that it affects daily living. It is important for those experiencing ringing to seek evaluation and treatment from a physician or audiologist. Each patient experiences this disorder in a different way. For some, the ringing is just a slight annoyance while others may feel anxious, paranoid, angry, or even depressed. Some are so bothered that the issue causes disturbances in their sleeping patterns or ability to concentrate during quiet tasks (e.g., reading, sewing, writing, etc.). Quiet tasks appear to be an exceptionally difficult time for those even with mild bothersome ringing. Treatment for this disorder involves masking, retraining, or other therapies. As of now, there is no known cure. No medication or surgical intervention exists to stop the ringing. However, if a middle ear issue or ototoxic medication is the cause of your ringing, medical/surgical intervention or changing medications may eliminate the issue. Speak with your physician regarding these options. Do not change medications without advisement by your physician. Counseling (e.g., Tinnitus Activities Treatment) may be a viable, beneficial option for those suffering with the emotional toll of their ringing. Ask your

HearCare Audiology Center 2800 Hillview St., Sarasota, FL 34239, (941) 677-1075


hearing healthcare provider for more information. Sound therapy or maskers may be effective in reducing the perception of the ringing. Sound therapy may be as simple as introducing sounds to the environment in quiet situations (e.g., turning on a fan, soft music, etc.). Wearable sound generators or maskers are also available. These typically produce a soft white noise (‘shhhh’) that gently reduces the prominence of the ringing sound. These wearable options can be used alone or may be coupled into a hearing aid. Hearing aid use has also been found to effectively reduce ringing perception in patients with hearing loss. Many patients find solace and help through self-help books and meditation. There are many of these available on the market, and have been used with varying degrees of success. Remember that your Tinnitus is real, and contact your hearing healthcare provider for help today!

HearCare Audiology Center 2800 Hillview St., Sarasota, FL 34239, (941) 677-1075

The Cause of Your Ringing May Never Be Known  

The Cause of Your Ringing May Never Be Known