Learning About Tinnitus
One of the common reasons for consulting an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, or an Audiologist is the presence of tinnitus, which is commonly known as ringing in the ears. It can be manifested as different noises like a hissing, crackling, or a low frequency motor noise in the ear. Most of the tinnitus is subjective (the brain hears a noise that it is not present in the environment), and only 5% can be objective (Produced by noises in the body, like the heartbeat, or noises from the lungs).
Frequently, the cause of the tinnitus is unknown, but there are some factors that can trigger it like a circulatory system disorder, exposure to loud noise, ear injury, concussion, wax in the ear canal, or fluid in the middle ear. Tinnitus can be associated to hearing loss, but not everybody with tinnitus has hearing loss. The tinnitus can last for short periods of time, or it can be a constant noise in one or both ears that can be very irritating for the patient, to the point that it interferes in their normal activities. Anxiety, depression, insomnia or stress, can exacerbate the condition.
The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) shows that 43% of Canadians aged 16 to 79 had experienced tinnitus during their lifetime and about 35% experienced it within the past year (Feder K, Michaud D, McNamee J, Fitzpatrick E, Davies H, Leroux T. Prevalence of occupational noise exposure, hearing loss, and hearing protection usage among a representative sample of working Canadians. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2017; 59(1):92-113.
Although there is no cure known for tinnitus, there are approaches that the Hearing Care Professional can make depending on each singular case. The following are some of the approaches:
If you are suffering from tinnitus, and want to know more, book a consultation with the Audiologist who will address your concerns and will find the option that might work for your treatment. CALL NOW