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Do you or a loved one hear a ringing or noise in your ear that no one else can hear? If so, you are one of approximately 50 million people in the US who are affected by this noise, which we call tinnitus. Typically there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are treatment options available to help reduce or completely mask the effect of the tinnitus.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is a the perception of a sound or ringing in the ear without an external noise presented. Tinnitus is a symptom that is often a secondary condition associated with many causes listed below. Tinnitus is often referred to as “ringing in the ear,” but can also described as a buzzing, humming, hissing, whistling, static noise, or clicking sound in the ear. It can be sporadic, or it can be constant. The perception of tinnitus varies from person to person in loudness, severity, and type.

Most common causes of tinnitus:

  • Hearing loss
  • Trauma to the head, neck or ear
  • Circulatory system disorders
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Medications
  • Noise exposure
  • Earwax
  • Ear infections
  • Air pressure or fluid in the middle ear
  • TMJ
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Growth or laceration on cranial nerves

How is tinnitus tested?

Determining the cause of the tinnitus can sometimes be difficult. Your Audiologist will first perform a diagnostic auditory evaluation. Next your Audiologist will pinpoint the pitch, loudness, and perceived characteristics of the tinnitus through headphones in a soundproof booth. Once the Audiologist closely matches the perceived tinnitus a number of treatment options will be discussed.