Tinnitus affects over 50 million Americans. Also referred to as ‘ringing in the ear’, tinnitus is the perception of sounds not made by a source outside of the body. People experiencing tinnitus have described ringing, clicking, hissing, buzzing, roaring and humming sounds.
With so many people affected by tinnitus, it’s important to understand the tinnitus myths and facts. Improving your understanding of tinnitus can help you reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
5 Common Tinnitus Myths
Myth: Only people with hearing loss experience tinnitus.
Fact: This is only partially true. The Hearing Loss Association of America notes that 90% of tinnitus is caused by an underlying hearing loss. However, other causes of tinnitus do exist. These can include: exposure to loud noise, underlying medical conditions, and more. If you’ve been experiencing tinnitus for more than 2 weeks, we recommend visiting your general healthcare practitioner.
Myth: Tinnitus is a disease.
Fact: Tinnitus is not a disease. In fact, it may be a symptom of an underlying health problem. In such cases, identifying the condition triggering your tinnitus is the first step towards treatment.
Myth: Tinnitus is the same for everyone - ringing in the ears.
Fact: Many sufferers of tinnitus report a ‘ringing in the ears’. However, other sounds have also been reported. Tinnitus sounds can include hissing, clicking, roaring, and buzzing. Although rare, some people with tinnitus have reported hearing music! Note: If your tinnitus sounds like a heartbeat, it could signal something more serious than a hearing loss. Make sure you book an appointment with your healthcare practitioner to check it out.
Myth: Tinnitus is permanent.
Fact: Tinnitus is not always a long-term condition. It can be temporary or chronic. Temporary tinnitus can be the result of exposure to loud noise. For example, if you’ve been to a live music event, and left with a high-pitched ringing in your ears. This type of tinnitus generally subsides within a few hours. When tinnitus is being caused by a blockage, such as earwax, removing the blockage generally eliminates the tinnitus. Conversely, if tinnitus is caused by a permanent condition such as hearing loss, it is more likely to be chronic.
Myth: There’s no cure for tinnitus.
Fact: While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are treatment options available. These can include sound masking, meditation, relaxation and hearing protection. Tinnitus symptoms related to hearing loss can be minimized by use of appropriate hearing aids. Similarly, if the tinnitus is the result of an underlying medical condition, treating the condition can help relieve the tinnitus.
Have Questions? Need Help? Contact Us Today!
At Family Audiology, we understand that tinnitus can have a big impact on your quality of life. We’d like to offer you the opportunity to book a complimentary hearing consultation with our hearing healthcare professionals. Our team will be able to determine if you are experiencing hearing loss, and provide solutions to fit your lifestyle. To book your appointment, call us today 607-323-4061 or click here to book a consultation with us online.