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Tinnitus—Ease the Suffering

An estimated 50 million Americans are affected with tinnitus. Are you one of them?

What you need to know if you suffer from a highly annoying ringing or buzzing in your ears.

If you have ever experienced a ringing, buzzing or even roaring in your ears, even when there is nothing around you actually creating that noise, then you know what it’s like to have tinnitus. For an estimated 50 million people, tinnitus doesn’t permanently go away. It can be so annoying that it can lead to fatigue, stress, sleep problems, concentration troubles, anxiety and depression. The good news is that new options exist for tinnitus management.

You may be surprised by what can causes tinnitus

A common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud sounds, which can damage the sensory cells of the inner ear. Tinnitus has also been associated with ear infections, aging, excessive earwax, high blood pressure and even sensory nerve disorders. Activities that may cause tinnitus include smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and taking excessive amounts of aspirin or antibiotics.

What to do if you think you have tinnitus

Start by being evaluated by a hearing healthcare professional. Some hearing healthcare professionals have general experience with tinnitus while others are specifically trained in managing tinnitus. He or she can help you determine the best options for managing the condition. If there are no specific medical issues involved, there are still several steps you can take to help reduce the severity of your tinnitus or help you cope better with the noise.

Tinnitus management

Hearing aids. In as many as 90 percent of cases, someone experiencing tinnitus also has a hearing loss. The use of a hearing aid to amplify sounds can help to make the ringing or buzzing less distracting.

Fractal technology. Some advanced hearing instruments equipped with fractal technology offer a harmonic sound therapy program that generates soothing tones and chimes designed for relaxation and concentration. The random tones, adjustable depending on the patient’s needs and preferences, make tinnitus less noticeable.

Noise suppression. Electronic devices with pillow speakers that produce “white noise” may help you to sleep better at night.

Additional lifestyle changes that may help you to either avoid tinnitus or make the symptoms less bothersome:

  • Avoid likely irritants. Limit your exposure to things such as loud noises or nicotine that may worsen your tinnitus.
  • Manage stress. Stress can aggravate tinnitus worse. You may get relief through relaxation therapy, biofeedback or exercise.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol can increase blood flow, especially in the inner ear area, which can contribute to tinnitus symptoms.
  • Use hearing protection. Exposure to loud noise or listening to loud music through headphones can, over time, damage the nerves in your ears causing hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Manage your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise and good nutrition can help prevent tinnitus linked to blood vessel disorders.
  • Education. Learning as much as you can about tinnitus and ways to alleviate symptoms can help you cope.

 

The Zen music program is found in several advanced hearing aid models including CLEAR, which lets you hear as close to natural sound as possible. CLEAR is available from Widex USA, one of the world’s most respected hearing instruments manufacturers and a name synonymous with superior technological achievements. Visit www.WidexUSA.com.

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