What’s that Ringing in Your Ears?

what-is-the-ringing-in-your-earsThe holidays are here, but if you’re hearing a constant ringing, buzzing, white noise, crickets chirping and/or roaring sound, it’s probably tinnitus, not holiday bells. In fact, according to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), tinnitus is very common, affecting approximately 50 million Americans to some degree. Usually it is a sound that only you can hear.

Don’t Ignore Tinnitus

Although these descriptions are typical, each individual’s experience can be different, and is an important clue that you need to pay attention to your hearing. Research published in the American Journal of Medicine found that 90 percent of individuals with tinnitus also have hearing loss. Many times, the tinnitus and hearing loss are caused by damage to the nerve cells within the inner ear. This damage can occur from a number of sources, including exposure to excessively loud sounds, health conditions like diabetes, and medications that damage the ear. Tinnitus also can be caused by impacted ear wax. In very rare cases, underlying medical conditions may cause tinnitus.

Tinnitus Can Be the First Symptom of Hearing Loss

Often, a comprehensive hearing evaluation reveals the individual has a hearing loss, and tinnitus is one of their first symptoms. In some cases, a hearing aid may be the most effective treatment, improving the patient’s hearing, and helping the tinnitus. Some hearing aids even have built-in tinnitus maskers that can help.

We Have the Best Technology in KC for Severe Tinnitus

Unfortunately, 2 million people have tinnitus so severe they cannot function “normally” on a day-to-day basis. Susan Smittkamp, Au.D., Ph.D., Tinnitus and Sound Sensitivity specialist, has advanced training and expertise in this field and works with patients with severe tinnitus.

To treat their tinnitus, she uses the most sophisticated technology available in the greater Kansas City area. For some patients with tinnitus, hearing aids can provide a good solution, but for the most complex cases, more sophisticated management may be necessary.

FDA-Approved Tools for Treating Tinnitus

Associated Audiologists offers tinnitus solutions from Neuromonics.

If you don’t have a hearing loss or a hearing aid doesn’t provide sufficient relief, we have other sound therapy options available, but most important, you don’t have to live with tinnitus. If you feel like you need help, you probably do.

Anyone who has ringing in their ears should schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation with a doctoral-level audiologist. This the first step in identifying tinnitus and treating the problem.

For more information on tinnitus, download our free e-book.