Tinnitus is more common than you might think – nearly 20 percent of individuals in Las Vegas and throughout the country report some degree of it. Even though it affects so many people, most never see a doctor about it. Why? Because they believe it is just something they have to live with.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a ringing in the ears when no noise is present. Those with tinnitus typically report hearing a ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing at various pitches. They may hear it in one or both ears. In addition to the sound, tinnitus sufferers can experience a number of symptoms including:
- Sleep problems
- Memory problems
What Causes Tinnitus?
In order to determine if your tinnitus can be cured, your Las Vegas audiologist must first try to confirm what is causing it. Common causes include:
- Noise exposure
- Foreign objects in the ears
If a certain medication you are taking or a foreign object in your ear is causing your tinnitus, it can usually be treated. But unfortunately for most, the exact cause of their tinnitus may be a mystery or the condition responsible for tinnitus may be untreatable. In this instance, your Las Vegas audiologist will craft a treatment plan that is focused on making the tinnitus less bothersome.
Tinnitus Treatment Options
There are a number of tinnitus treatments available. Your Las Vegas audiologist will work with you to determine the best treatment for your tinnitus.
White Noise Therapy
This popular treatment involves the use of white noise. White noise is a distribution of random sound frequencies across the hearing spectrum, which can be used to draw your brain’s attention away from the distracting background noise. While you can purchase a special white noise machine, your Las Vegas audiologist has found that you can get the same effect by using an air conditioner, fan or humidifier.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
This newer approach combines counseling and education with sound therapy. You will learn about the causes and effects of your tinnitus and different strategies for coping, as well as how to rely on low-level sound generators that produce soft tonal patterns that encourage the brain to shift its focus away from the sounds associated with tinnitus.
Almost 90 percent of those with tinnitus also have hearing loss, so most already own a hearing aid. Your Las Vegas audiologist suggests simply turning up the volume on your device to mask the tinnitus.
While not proven, some tinnitus sufferers report that gingko biloba, zinc or niacin have helped reduce their symptoms. Clinical studies are inconclusive.
While most of those with tinnitus will not find a cure, their tinnitus can be treated. You do not need to simply live with the distracting sound. Contact your Las Vegas audiologist today to get started.
Call Nevada Ear + Sinus Institute at (702) 735-7668 for more information or to schedule an appointment.