Tinnitus Overview

Tinnitus is typically defined as ringing of the ears, but may contain other sounds, such as clicking, roaring, whooshing, or buzzing. These symptoms can be heard in one or both ears, in your head, or outside your head. Some people will hear several sounds, and may hear differences in pitch and loudness.
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Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is not an illness in itself, but a side effect of some other underlying change in the body. Tinnitus is commonly a response in the brain to damage in the ear and auditory system.

It is typically associated with hearing loss, specifically sensorineural (permanent) hearing loss. Some scientists believe that without harm to the auditory system happening first, subjective tinnitus cannot occur. Sensorineural hearing loss is found in two main forms:

How common is Tinnitus?

In any given year, about 10% of the adult population experience tinnitus. Millions have chronic tinnitus, which means the sound doesn't go away. The tinnitus is not deemed annoying for most of those individuals because it does not interfere with their day-to-day routines. Some individuals however, are so disturbed by it that it causes depression and trouble sleeping.

High-Risk Groups 

There are a number of lifestyle choices or occupations which will make you more susceptible to developing hearing loss and tinnitus:

  • Active military duty, or recently returned from combat
  • Those who work in loud environments
  • Professional musicians and music enthusiasts
  • Motorcyclists
  • Recreational shooters

If you are exposed to loud noises in your hobbies or at work, you should wear ear protection to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus and hearing loss.

Managing Tinnitus

In most instances of chronic tinnitus there is presently no scientifically proven cure. There is however a continuous search for a definitive cure and actual progress is being made, but no clinically proven way to eliminate tinnitus perception is available today. 

At Suncoast Audiology, we are experts in tinnitus treatment and can recommend multiple ways to manage your symptoms. For more information on these treatments, why not set up an appointment with us today at 727-977-5222?

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