Tinnitus comes from the Latin word tinnire (to ring). It is defined as the perception of sound for which there is no external source. This condition can be described as ringing, humming, buzzing, hissing, whistling or roaring in the ear. Regardless of the description, it is usually a symptom of an underlying condition which can be caused by a variety of factors. One very common cause is degeneration of the hearing nerve or aging. It has also been associated with ear infections, ear wax and other hearing disorders.
Stress, anxiety, medications, caffeine and alcohol are among the many factors that can trigger tinnitus. However, it is most often caused by loud noise that damages the delicate hair cells of the inner ear. There may be times when your severity seems worse than other times.
The effects of tinnitus can be minimized through effective counseling and sound therapy. Many people with this condition also have some hearing loss. When you are not able to hear natural sound in the environment the sounds generated by the nervous system (tinnitus) seem very loud.
One of the primary treatments is the use of a hearing aid to amplify the natural sound in the environment which can make the ringing/buzz seem less prominent. In some instances it is necessary to provide additional sound therapy to minimize the severity.
There are many different types of sound therapy through the various hearing aids. Talk with your hearing care professional at Lake ENT's Hearing Aid and Audiology Services to find the best solution for your condition.
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