Tinnitus is a perception of noise in the ears or head when there is no external sound present. It is often described as ringing, buzzing, hissing, humming, roaring, crickets, ocean waves, etc. Tinnitus can be pronounced as ti-NIGHT-us or Tin-i-tus, both are correct.
Approximately over 45 million people in the United States have tinnitus. Based the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutritional Examinations Survey (most recent data), nearly 20 million people are dealing with burdensome tinnitus, while roughly 2 million individuals find their tinnitus severely debilitating that it impairs their normal daily function.
Sounds or noises within the head or ear(s) which are only perceived by the individual. No one else can hear this sound. More than 99% of all reported cases of tinnitus are of the subjective variety.
Sounds or noises within the head or ear(s) which are audible to another individual. These sounds are usually produced internally within the body as a result of circulatory problems (blood flow) or somatic (musculo-skeletal movement) systems. This kind of tinnitus encompasses less than 1% of all tinnitus cases and is quite rare.
There can be many potential causes of tinnitus. Dr. Novick will review your medical history extensively to try and help determine a possible cause, which could be due to the following:
Everyone experiences tinnitus differently. Our role is to educate you in understanding the neural mechanism behind tinnitus and to learn how to manage your tinnitus symptoms, which will ultimately reduce the stress, annoyance and anxiety associated with it.
Your initial tinnitus consultation appointment will be approximately 2 hours and we encourage you to bring a family member or friend.
When evaluating your tinnitus, we will check for any hearing loss. Why you ask? This is because approximately 90% of tinnitus cases also reveal an underlying hearing loss. We will explain your results and develop a treatment plan that best fits you, including various treatment options and coping strategies.
Treatment requires frequent directive educational counseling and regular follow-up visits. It is recommended that patients to fully commit to the treatment plan to maximize their success.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene
Even though there is no known cure for tinnitus, you can be rest assured that there are various tinnitus relief options
Even though there is no known cure for tinnitus, you can be assured that there are various tinnitus treatment options. Despite the various treatment options available, different individuals report varying degrees of success and relief from their tinnitus.
Auditory Habituation or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
TRT is a systematic protocol method for treatment of tinnitus, hyperacusis and misophonia. TRT is a habituation technique that involves two components:
1) Directive counseling, which provides the patient with intensive, individualized education regarding the causes and effects of tinnitus on the ear, the brain and the coping mechanism.
2) Sound based Therapy, which uses low-level sound generators that produce low-level broadband noise (mimics the sound of a shower) at a soft enough level so the brain can perceive both the noise and the tinnitus. The goal is not to completely mask or cover up the tinnitus signal. Eventually, it is hoped that the brain will learn to de-emphasize the importance of the tinnitus. These sound generators are small and discreet and no one will even notice the patient is wearing them.
This protocol is also helpful for those patients are sensitive to sound (hyperacusis and misophonia).
Contact us to learn more about tinnitus and different treatment options or to schedule an appointment.