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.
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There Are Two Kinds of Tinnitus
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.
Causes of Tinnitus
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:
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
– Vivian Greene
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.
- Sound-Based Therapy: Various sound therapies are available for those with and without hearing impairment. The most preferred method is the use of small and discreet ear-level devices that can be worn throughout the day and night. Alternatively, tabletop sound generators and common household devices (fans/radios/televisions/smartphone apps, etc.) are useful and successful.
- Stress Reduction: Alleviating stress can do wonders for those who are annoyed by their tinnitus. Many people find relief through progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, massage therapy, meditation and daily exercise. Stress management is key in facilitating habituation to tinnitus.
- Medical: We feel that all patients suffering from tinnitus should have a thorough medical evaluation by an otolaryngologist, a physician who specializes in the diseases of the ear, nose & throat.
- Psychological Therapy: Even though we do our very best in helping individuals cope/manage their tinnitus, sometimes we need a little help. In cases where we feel you have significant depression or anxiety; we will assist in a referral to a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction.
Contact us to learn more about tinnitus and different treatment options or to schedule an appointment.