More than 50 million Americans experience some sort of tinnitus, yet there is not much known about this common condition. Getting the facts straight about the ringing in your ear can help you understand what is happening and seek out the right treatment.
Below are the top five most common tinnitus myths.
Tinnitus Is a Disease
Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying medical condition rather than a disease itself. Traumatic brain injury, exposure to dangerously loud noises, high blood pressure and even certain medications all include tinnitus on their list of symptoms.
Those with Hearing Loss Get Tinnitus
While no one is denying that tinnitus and hearing loss often go together, in fact nearly 90 percent of those with tinnitus also experience hearing loss, it is possible to have one without the other.
Hearing Aids Only Treat Hearing Loss
As we mentioned above, it is common for someone to experience both tinnitus and hearing loss. Newer hearing aids can help treat tinnitus by increasing the amplification of other sounds, thus drowning out the ringing or buzzing in the ear. This is a process known as masking.
A Change in Diet Can Treat Tinnitus
Eating a balanced diet can improve your health, but it won’t cure your tinnitus. Alcohol, sodium and caffeine have been found to increase tinnitus symptoms, but they are not the main cause of the symptom.
Tinnitus Is a Mental Issue
Tinnitus is one of many invisible diseases. Some experience chronic and debilitating tinnitus, but from the outside they look perfectly healthy. The ringing, buzzing or chirping is not in your ear – it is caused by permanent damage to the tiny hairs within your inner ear.
There Is No Treatment for Tinnitus
While some causes of tinnitus such as a buildup of earwax or a certain medications can be fixed, most cases of tinnitus are permanent. That does not mean there is no treatment. Instead of reversing the tinnitus, the treatment options are focused on making the sounds less bothersome.
In addition to the use of hearing aids, sound therapy, medication and stress management are all possible treatment options. Understanding your tinnitus can help you take control and seek relief. Contact the experts at Evergreen Speech & Hearing, Inc., today to learn more.