What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common problem that affects approximately 1 in 5 people. It is defined as a ringing sound in the ears that is not caused by an outside source. In most cases, tinnitus isn’t serious, although the noises can worsen with age. Tinnitus in itself is not a medical condition, but a sign of an underlying condition that a doctor who specializes in ear problems in Sydney can address.
Tinnitus treatment begins by first determining if there are any underlying conditions that can be treated. For instance, a procedure as simple as earwax removal may decrease or eliminate symptoms. Tinnitus may be a sign of hearing loss in which case a hearing aid may be helpful. Additional tinnitus causes may include vascular conditions that may be alleviated with surgery, medications, or other forms of treatment. In some cases, tinnitus sounds are caused by the medication that people are taking. By reducing or halting the use of the medication or finding a medication alternative, symptoms may be reduced.
Tinnitus medication may reduce the severity of the noises. However, it is important to take precautions before you begin taking any medications since they can cause side effects.
Noise suppression is another form of treatment that may make the tinnitus sounds less troublesome. For instance, some individuals who suffer from phantom noises wear masking devices that are worn in the ear just as hearing aids would be. These masking devices produce “white noise” that helps to suppress the symptoms of tinnitus. Playing a CD that includes ocean sounds or any other white noise sounds often help people with chronic tinnitus sleep at night or focus during the day.
A specialist may also guide you through a form of sound retraining. This form of treatment involves wearing a device that produces tonal music that works to mask the sound frequencies that you hear due to tinnitus. With time, sound retraining may help you to focus notice tinnitus sounds less.