What is Tinnitus?
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Tinnitus is an issue that is becoming more and more common, especially as more people become aware of its existence. It might be misunderstood as a simple ringing in the ears, the way that you might experience temporarily on an airplane. But the truth is that it can be a lot more trouble than that.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus doesn’t necessarily describe a condition, but a symptom instead. It’s known best as the experience of sounds, either in the ears or in the mind, which has no explainable source. For some, it can sound like bells ringing. For some, it can sound like music. For some, it can match the rhythm of their heartbeat. It can be intermittent, or it can be constant and, what’s more, it can change over time. It can be one of the harder hearing health issues to deal with, as the source for it isn’t always possible to find.
What are the risks?
Beyond the sensation of noises that you cannot control or stop, tinnitus is linked to many other serious conditions. It has been known to cause sleep difficulty, often being louder for some people at night. What’s more, the lack of sleep combined with the stress of the condition can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Without masking it, tinnitus can be a life-changing challenge, especially for those who suffer the more severe forms of it.
How do you cope with tinnitus?
Coping with tinnitus isn’t easy, as a method that works for one won’t work for another. But there are some that have become more commonly accepted and practiced as working to mask tinnitus. Hearing aids are one of the most commonly effective maskers. They can both amplify other noises, helping you hear past the tinnitus, while using noise masking that produces pitches or tones to cancel the tinnitus out. There are specific noise-masking devices, such as white-noise machines, that you can use when you’re trying to relax or sleep, too. Therapy is also available, helping you learn how to habituate the tinnitus so that you notice it less, while also helping you deal with the stress or other mood changes that it can cause.
Is there a cure?
Because the cause of tinnitus can be so hard to find, there is no one specific cure that can put a stop to it. Sometimes, it does lessen or even disappear on its own, but many have some form of it for years if not their whole life. In some cases, medications can cause tinnitus as a side effect. A buildup of earwax can also be the root cause. So, a trip to the hearing care provider might just help you find the underlying cause.
If you suspect that you have tinnitus, then your best bet lies with seeking the help of a hearing health professional as soon as possible. They can help you fight it with a range of devices. The answer to tinnitus is different for different people, so starting to find the one that works for you is essential.