WHAT IS TINNITUS?
Tinnitus is commonly known as ringing in the ears, but refers to any sound that a person hears that does not have an external source. This can include ringing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, or even cricket sounds. These sounds may be constant, or they may come and go or even change throughout the day.
FACT: Nearly 15% of Americans experience some form of tinnitus.
WHAT CAUSES TINNITUS?
There are a number of conditions that can result in tinnitus, including the following:
. Earwax blockage
. Ear infections
. Ear diseases, such as Meniere’s disease (an inner ear disorder caused by abnormal inner fluid pressure) or otosclerosis
. Cardiovascular disease
. TMJ (Problems with the temporomandibular joint, the joint on each side of your head in front of your ears)
. Head/neck trauma
FACT: The most common cause of tinnitus is prolonged exposure to loud noise.
LOUD NOISE AND TINNITUS
Loud noise causes damage to the cochlea, the organ in your inner ear responsible for detecting sounds and sending an electrical signal to the brain. When this organ gets damaged, one common side effect is tinnitus. Another common side effect of this damage is hearing loss.
FACT: Although there are no surgeries or medications that cure tinnitus, you CAN take control of your tinnitus symptoms and improve your quality of life.
MANAGING YOUR TINNITUS
Step 1: Comprehensive Hearing Testing
Hearing testing allows your audiologist to make sure that your tinnitus is not caused by something like an earwax blockage, ear infection, or ear disease. It also detects signs of damage to your inner ear that can result in tinnitus and affect your hearing.
Step 2: Tinnitus Education
After your hearing test, you and your audiologist will discuss the results. This discussion will include more information about the mechanism of tinnitus as well as a discussion about different tinnitus management strategies.
Step 3: Tinnitus Management Plan
Based on your hearing test results, your tinnitus management goals, and your lifestyle, your audiologist will work with you to come up with a plan to help you manage your tinnitus. Your treatment plan may include:
Sound Enrichment – using amplification (hearing aids), ear-level sound generators, and/or environmental sounds to make the tinnitus less noticeable, and therefore less bothersome
Behavioral Retraining – changing the way you think about and respond to the tinnitus so that you find it less bothersome and distracting.
The use of sound enrichment has been proven to reduce perceived tinnitus severity in up to 70% of tinnitus patients, while behavioral retraining gives you the skills you need to control your reaction to your tinnitus.
Let Looper Speech and Hearing Center give you the tools you need to take back control of your tinnitus.
WHY CHOOSE LOOPER SPEECH AND HEARING CENTER?
OUR AUDIOLOGIST: Dr. Katie McCreery-Scarbor, Au.D., received her doctorate degree in Audiology from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. She received extensive training in tinnitus management from leaders in the field, most notably at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in Johnson City, TN, and at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Her extensive training with veterans has uniquely prepared her to offer tinnitus management services in our community.
OUR CENTER: Looper Speech and Hearing Center has a longstanding tradition of not-for-profit service to Northwest Georgia. When you obtain services at Looper, you can be confident that not only are you receiving top quality care, all profits are being invested back into your community.