- Do you miss parts of conversations?
- Is it hard to understand people on the phone?
- Do people complain that the TV is too loud?
- Do you have difficulty hearing conversations at a restaurant?
- Are others frustrated that you say "What?" after every sentence?
- Have you nodded in agreement to someone you didn't hear?
- Do you hear ringing or buzzing in your ears?
- Does it seem like everyone mumbles?
- Do you need to see a person's face or lips to hear him or her?
- Do you know someone who answers YES to these questions?
- Tinnitus is the medical term for the sensation of ringing, hissing, clicking or any abnormal sound in your ear.
- Millions of people complain about tinnitus. Almost everyone has experienced tinnitus at some time in his/her life.
- About 90% of people with hearing loss have tinnitus.
- There can be many different causes for tinnitus and each has a different treatment. For this reason, it is best to have your ears evaluated by an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist like those at Beach Cities ENTS
- Treatment largely depends on the patient’s history, physical exam and hearing test results.
- It is helpful to avoid loud noise. If you know you will be exposed to loud noise (such as loud music, power tools, airplanes, etc.), please use ear protection. Ear plugs can be purchased at most pharmacies and custom plugs are available through most hearing test or hearing aid centers.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages or other stimulants. Foods and beverages containing coffee, tea, cola and chocolate should be reduced or eliminated. All of these products can aggravate tinnitus.
- Stop smoking or use of any nicotine products. Tinnitus has been shown to decrease with the avoidance of nicotine.
- Review all your medications with BCENTS doctor or your primary Physician. Be sure to avoid excessive use of aspirin-containing products and non-steroidal inflammatory medications (NSAIDS). If you are uncertain if your medications contain aspirin or ibuprofen, check with your pharmacist.
- If your tinnitus causes difficulty with sleep, you can use the radio or television at home to mask the tinnitus by turning the volume to the lowest level which you can still hear. The audiologist can assist you also in educating you to how masking work and they sell masking devices.
- It is generally helpful to reduce the stress in your life, if possible. Relaxation and exercise are recommended techniques for treating tinnitus.
- The American Tinnitus Association is an organization which provides support and information on tinnitus. They publish a magazine, videos, educational brochures, books and organize self-help and support groups for the problem of tinnitus. To contact them, you can call 1-800-634-8978, or visit their website at www.ata.org, or write the American Tinnitus Association at P.O. Box 5, Portland, OR 97207. Another websites and resource can be found at www.tinnitusresearch.org
- Hearing aids can produce the dual benefits of improving hearing and masking the tinnitus. This therapy is especially effective in those with untreated hearing loss that is causing the tinnitus. Patients usually will not notice or be bothered by their tinnitus while wearing their hearing aids.