An Audiologist's Guide to Tinnitus Management and Relief

If you've ever experienced a constant ringing, buzzing, or hissing in your ears, you know how disruptive it can be.

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An Audiologist's Guide to Tinnitus Management and Relief

If you've ever experienced a constant ringing, buzzing, or hissing in your ears, you know how disruptive it can be. Tinnitus isn't just a minor annoyance; it's a symptom that can significantly impact your quality of life. That's why it's crucial to address it head-on, and who better to guide you than us at Silicon Valley Audiology, your experts in hearing care?

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the perception of noise in your ears when there's no external sound source. It can manifest as ringing, buzzing, hissing, or even roaring. While tinnitus itself is not a disease, it's often a symptom of underlying issues like hearing loss.

There are two types of Tinnitus:

  • Subjective Tinnitus: Only you can hear the noise.
  • Objective Tinnitus: The noise is audible to both you and others.

The Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus can be a perplexing condition, often appearing without a clear cause. However, understanding the potential triggers can help you and us at Silicon Valley Audiology to better manage your symptoms. Here are some common causes:

Age-Related Hearing Loss

As you age, your hearing naturally declines, and this can sometimes lead to tinnitus. Age-related hearing loss usually starts around the age of 60 and can exacerbate existing tinnitus symptoms.

Noise Exposure

Exposure to loud noises, whether it's a one-time event like a concert or ongoing like working in a noisy environment, can cause both hearing loss and tinnitus. The louder and longer the exposure, the greater the risk.

Earwax Blockage

Something as simple as a buildup of earwax can cause tinnitus. The good news is that this is usually reversible; a professional cleaning can alleviate the symptoms.

Medications

Certain medications list tinnitus as a potential side effect. These can range from certain antibiotics and diuretics to high doses of aspirin. Always consult with your healthcare provider if you suspect your medication is causing tinnitus.

The Connection Between Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

You might be wondering, "What does tinnitus have to do with hearing loss?" The relationship between the two is more than coincidental; they often go hand-in-hand. Here's a deeper look into how they are interconnected.

Both tinnitus and hearing loss often originate in the inner ear, where tiny hair cells are responsible for translating sound waves into electrical signals for the brain. When these hair cells are damaged due to factors like aging, exposure to loud noises, or even certain medications, they can become less effective at their job. This can result in hearing loss and often leads to the perception of phantom noises, known as tinnitus.

Treatment Options

If you're experiencing tinnitus, it's a strong signal that you should get your hearing checked. Early diagnosis and treatment can not only help manage your tinnitus but also potentially slow down the progression of hearing loss. At Silicon Valley Audiology, we offer comprehensive evaluations to assess your hearing and tinnitus symptoms, providing you with a tailored treatment plan.

While there's no one-size-fits-all cure for tinnitus, various treatments can help manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life. At Silicon Valley Audiology, we offer a range of options tailored to your specific needs.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are the cornerstone of treatment for many people with tinnitus and hearing loss. These devices not only amplify sounds but can also include features specifically designed to alleviate tinnitus. Here's how they can benefit you:

  • Mask the Tinnitus Noise: Some hearing aids come with a tinnitus masking feature that plays a sound to distract you from the tinnitus.
  • Improve Your Hearing: By amplifying external sounds, hearing aids can make tinnitus less noticeable.
  • Enhance Your Overall Well-being: Better hearing can improve your social interactions, mental health, and overall quality of life.

Lenire Therapy

Another innovative approach to tinnitus management is the use of Lenire, a bimodal neuromodulation treatment. Lenire combines audio and mild tongue pulses to provide clinically proven relief from tinnitus. With its unique dual-mode technology, it has been granted US FDA approval and has shown significant results in large scale clinical trials.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy uses external sounds to distract your brain from the sound of tinnitus. This can be as simple as listening to background music or as specialized as using a white noise machine. Sound therapy can be particularly effective when used in conjunction with hearing aids.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychological treatment that helps you become aware of negative thinking patterns and equips you with strategies to combat them. While CBT doesn't eliminate the sound of tinnitus, it can make it less bothersome by changing how you react to it.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you become aware of your thoughts and feelings and make it easier to cope with your tinnitus. By focusing on the present moment, you can divert your attention away from the ringing or buzzing in your ears.

Take Control of Your Hearing Health

Tinnitus and hearing loss can be isolating experiences, but you don't have to go through it alone. We at Silicon Valley Audiology are here to guide you every step of the way. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you can regain control of your life.

Don't let tinnitus hold you back. Schedule a visit with us at Silicon Valley Audiology and take the first step towards better hearing and a better life.

Marni Novick, Audiologist in Los Gatos, CA

Dr. Marni Novick

Founder & Audiologist

Marni Novick, AuD, is founder of Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc., which opened its doors in 2014, with the promise of delivering honest and affordable hearing health care, along with exceptional customer service to her valued patients.

About Dr. Novick