Why Is There No Cure For Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is one of the most common hearing conditions experienced, and it is one without a cure. The condition comes in varying degrees, and the person who has tinnitus might not be able to concentrate or rest well. Tinnitus could be intermittent, or it may be persistent, but some things can be done to relieve some of the typical symptoms.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the term used to describe hearing noises that are not caused by the outside world. Tinnitus can is heard by the person who has tinnitus only. While ringing in the ear is the most common form of tinnitus, it can also be experienced in the following ways:
- Music or singing
How is Tinnitus Diagnosed?
Several tests can be done to diagnose tinnitus; one of the first steps is the examination of the ear, head and neck. An audiologist is typically the appointment once a general practitioner (GP) has done the initial assessment. The audiologist will do some further tests to check the hearing.
The most common test is where the person with suspected tinnitus will sit in a quiet room and listen to a series of sounds through headphones. Each time a sound is played, the person taking the hearing test will be required to indicate if the sounds are heard.
There is a range of normal hearing for each age group, and this will be compared with the person taking the hearing test. The hearing test can establish if hearing loss may be a contributing factor to tinnitus.
During the tests, things like balance and movement will also be investigated. Often including clenching and relaxing the jaw, eye movements and moving the body. These tests can highlight when the tinnitus is more prominent or changes with a specific movement or adjustment of the body.
Is There a Cure for Tinnitus?
Tinnitus alone is not classed as a disease and is usually a symptom stemming from something else. Here are some of the typical reasons that tinnitus happens:
- Hearing loss
- Some medications
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Acoustic trauma
There is also a range of health disorders that can be the cause of tinnitus. Since there are so many triggers for tinnitus, there is no available cure.
There are many subtypes of tinnitus, and since it is not always evident what the trigger is for the tinnitus; developing an effective cure becomes more challenging. Certainly more so when there is a lack of sufficient funding and research into tinnitus.
One of the most used treatments for tinnitus is to have soft music playing as often as possible. In the evenings, the ringing or buzzing may feel louder, so noise machines playing rainforest sounds, rain or other soft sounds can help to minimize the impact. Around the home, it can be beneficial to have a room fan on low, radio static, white noise or low volume radio.
Hearing aid technology is incredible, and it can have a significant impact on minimizing the effects of tinnitus. There are several types of hearing aids that have tinnitus technology which can prove very effective for many. If the tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, a hearing aid can be a vital component in reducing tinnitus.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavior therapy is often referred to as one of the most important treatments for tinnitus.
Tinnitus can cause stress levels to rise, and as such psychological intervention can play a huge part in the treatment plan. Quality of life can be improved further by using CBT with tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). TRT involves retraining the brain to ignore the sounds of tinnitus and focus on external sounds instead. TRT is useful for places that are usually quieter and tinnitus can feel more prevalent.
Stress has been shown to make tinnitus worse, so it is important to have a stress management plan. Ensuring that the person with tinnitus has plenty of rest and takes part in activities that reduce their stress levels.
A key part of stress management is recognizing stressors and navigating them before they become an issue.
Managing tinnitus with the right hearing team is essential – since there is no cure for it. Take control of your tinnitus today; call Center for Better Hearing today at 510-768-7091.