It could be ringing, or a buzzing, or even a hissing. Either way, it’s commonly what one hears when afflicted with tinnitus— the perception of sound when no such external sound is present.
The sound could be soft, loud, low-pitched, high-pitcher, one ear, or both ears; it can also impact our daily lives significantly. The irritable sounds may interfere with our concentration and sometimes is tied to anxiety and depression.
While the audible issue may be difficult to deal with, there are ways of dealing with tinnitus without having to turn your life upside down.
As hearing loss is often strongly linked to tinnitus, a comprehensive hearing exam is generally where the evaluation begins.
Once a comprehensive hearing test is completed, the hearing care professional will proceed with specific testing. The impact of tinnitus can cause many negative mental, cognitive, and physical consequences. Therefore, understanding the individual subjective burden that it causes is very important in creating a successful treatment plan.
Tinnitus treatment solutions are available to patients nationwide. Hearing Health USA, an audiologist company that specializes in hearing aids, hearing tests, pediatrics, and tinnitus treatments, has broken ground on new accessories and treatments to help in a range of cases.
While there is no cure for chronic tinnitus, it often becomes less noticeable over time and there are many treatment options to help make it more manageable. The best defense against this ailment is to prevent it if possible.
Since noise exposure is the most significant risk factor in developing tinnitus, you should protect your hearing by using hearing protection when exposed to loud sounds. But, if you’re already afflicted, the most effective approaches to treatment include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Tinnitus retraining therapy/sound therapy
- Tinnitus maskers
- Biofeedback and stress management
- Amplification (hearing aids)
While hearing aids cannot stop tinnitus, they can provide significant tinnitus relief when hearing loss is present. Using hearing aids can help redirect your brain to process incoming sounds and decrease the focus on the ringing or buzzing noises..
The best hearing aids for tinnitus relief are those with integrated software that not only amplifies the sound to compensate for your hearing loss but helps to suppress the ringing, buzzing sounds..
Almost anyone can experience tinnitus for a short time. However, if you experience tinnitus in conjunction with other medical problems, you should consult with a hearing professional for an evaluation.
As mentioned, anxiety and depression have been linked to aggravating the symptoms of tinnitus. WithTherapy, a leading therapist blog, offers a personalized therapy matching system that helps users find the mental health professionals that suit them best.
The best-supported treatment for tinnitus is a type of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, and improving emotional regulation. It decreases the amount of stress those with tinnitus feel. These benefits appear to be independent of any effects of depression or anxiety disorder in an individual.
Oftentimes, patients with chronic pain or tinnitus experience burnout that makes every day a challenge. Therapy sessions, even through online therapy, allow tinnitus patients to learn coping mechanisms and healthier techniques to not overwhelm themselves.
Stress leaves you in a constant state of agitation, and it can actually lower your anxiety threshold. With these extraordinary times during the COVID-19 pandemic, tinnitus patients are left to find new pays to not only cope with their symptoms but potential psychological issues that may weigh heavily. That’s why virtual sessions or socially distant private practice sessions are recommended to help patients understand what may trigger symptoms and what can keep the buzz at bay.