Hearing a ringing, buzzing or hissing can be quite unsettling, especially when you cannot tell where the sound is coming from this. This is what tinnitus is – hearing a sound when no sound is actually present. This is a common problem; nearly one in five people in El Paso and throughout the country experience it.
Since it is so common, it should come as no surprise that there is a lot of misinformation floating around about tinnitus. Below are the most common misconceptions your El Paso audiologist has heard about this symptom.
Tinnitus Will Go Away On Its Own.
Myth: Tinnitus is a disorder that will just go away on its own.
This myth has two parts – that tinnitus is a standalone disorder and that simply doing nothing will treat it.
Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a disease or disorder itself. And for most, it won’t simply go away.
Tinnitus occurs when the tiny hairs within the inner ear become damaged; this is usually caused by exposure to loud noises. When damaged, these hairs can leak electrical signals to your brain; these signals are interpreted as sound (even though no sound is present).
Since the hairs in the inner ear cannot heal themselves, the tinnitus cannot simply go away.
Tinnitus Can’t Be Treated.
Myth: There is nothing that can be done to help your tinnitus.
While many won’t be able to completely cure their tinnitus, this does not mean it cannot be treated. Here are some of the most common treatment options used by your El Paso audiologist.
Sounds are used to cover up, or mask, the tinnitus. This distracts your brain and helps you tune out the ringing in your ears. Electronic devices that produce white noise, air conditioners, fans, soft music, etc. can all be employed.
Tinnitus retraining therapy.
Similar in concept to acoustic therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy utilizes a portable sound generator that produces soft patterned tones to help desensitize the brain to the sounds of tinnitus.
Background sounds can mask tinnitus. Hearing aids can also help the patient better distinguish one sound from another, improving communication and helping with focus and concentration difficulties. Many devices also come packaged with noise generators to replace ambient sounds if amplification alone does not reduce tinnitus.
Counseling, sleep and cognitive behavioral or relaxation methods can be practical in helping you manage your tinnitus symptoms by reducing the stress, anxiety and sleeplessness that are often associated with tinnitus. Many audiologists and American Fork providers teach methods to help you manage your tinnitus symptoms.
Hearing Loss And Tinnitus Are Unrelated
Myth: Tinnitus has nothing to do with hearing loss.
This myth is simply untrue. Nearly 90 percent of those with tinnitus also have hearing loss.
Learn the facts. Contact your El Paso audiologist to schedule an appointment today.