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What are the first signs of tinnitus?

Tinnitus, also known as noises in the ears, is an issue that affects millions of individuals and can have serious consequences in your life. It is more frequent in elderly people and can be precipitated by age-related hearing loss, an ear or head injury, or issues in your vascular or circulatory system such as atherosclerosis.

Tinnitus causes varying symptoms depending on what is causing it. A common symptom of tinnitus involves hearing a sound that seems to be coming from the ears or head.

These sounds can manifest as ringing, buzzing, hissing, whooshing, whirring, thumping, beeping, etc.

Understanding tinnitus

Tinnitus is more than just a nuisance; the noise can induce a sense of anxiety and it might keep you awake at night. If you have severe tinnitus, you understand how tough it is to function normally. Tinnitus therapies are now accessible, providing many people with respite from this ailment.

Many people who suffer from tinnitus live in constant worry about the next episode. Tinnitus is greatly unpredictable, manifesting as either intermittent or continuous. Tinnitus can affect one or both ears,  and the sound quality can vary widely for each patient.

In some instances, tinnitus is considered to be more devastating than hearing loss in certain aspects. Many of the most troubling symptoms, such as stress and sleep deprivation, can negatively impact a person’s overall well-being. Thankfully there are tools and resources to help modify one’s lifestyle and alleviate the severity of tinnitus.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any tingling feelings around your head along with tinnitus.

Can tinnitus be avoided?

Loud noises are one of the main culprits for hearing loss and tinnitus, but there are ways to mitigate the damage and prevent the problem altogether. If you’re going to be exposed to loud noises for an extended period of time, try wearing earplugs to protect your hearing.

Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. These substances can have an effect on blood flow, which may exacerbate tinnitus symptoms. 

Is it possible to live a normal life with tinnitus?

Living with tinnitus requires effort and commitment. One way to successfully live with tinnitus is to take care of your physical health. When indicators of stress present themselves as headaches or problems sleeping, for example, start listening to your body rather than merely reacting.

Stress management tactics that combine relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation or exercise, can be quite beneficial in lowering the fatigue experienced by chronic tinnitus patients.

Regular exercise mixed with coping methods can dramatically reduce tinnitus symptoms or frequency over time.

If you are experiencing other symptoms as a result of an underlying medical issue, treating the disease may also improve your overall condition.

Tinnitus management

The first step in treating tinnitus is determining what is causing it. A doctor can establish whether there is an underlying cause and then treat it with medication or surgery.

A vast proportion of tinnitus patients will have no recognized cause. This is known as “idiopathic tinnitus.” There may be no cure for idiopathic tinnitus, however, there are treatments that can help reduce its severity.

Hearing aids for tinnitus

Tinnitus is commonly experienced with hearing loss. When you lose your hearing, your brain changes the way it processes noises.

According to one poll involving 230 healthcare experts, over 60% of people with tinnitus experienced some improvements in their tinnitus with a hearing aid, and approximately 22% experienced significant alleviation.

An audiologist can recommend hearing aids that can also help address tinnitus.

Sound maskers

Sound-masking devices produce a soothing external noise that can help block out tinnitus sounds. There are numerous products of this type available, ranging from tabletop sound generators to tiny devices that are worn in your ear.

Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT)

Tinnitus has been linked to a substantial level of emotional stress. A person with severe tinnitus may experience depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help patients suffering from tinnitus in learning to live with the disease. Rather than masking the sound, CBT trains you to accept and cope with it.

The goal of CBT is to improve your quality of life and rise above tinnitus.

Audiologists in Swampscott and Peabody, MA

Are you experiencing problems with your hearing? Consult with an audiologist and get your hearing checked.

Atlantic Hearing Care provides audiology services, hearing aids, and hearing tests in Swampscott and Peabody, MA.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!


Two Convenient Locations

990 Paradise Road, Suite 3A
Swampscott, MA 01907

2 First Avenue, Suite 127-1
Peabody, MA 01960