Ringing in the ears that only the sufferer can hear is known as tinnitus. It can also be buzzing, whistling, humming hissing and many other sounds. Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. Long-term treatment options exist to help patients deal with tinnitus, even when it’s at its worst.
What is the cause of tinnitus?
There are many causes of tinnitus across millions of patients. Even if patients have similar symptoms, treatment options are still custom made. Along with the causes, there are a lot of associations. Impacted ear wax, tumors, or neurological disorders may play a role in the possible cause of tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is sometimes a symptom of hearing loss
- Normal aging
- Overexposure to loud noise
- Medicinal side effects
- Head or neck Injuries
Testing for tinnitus
Tinnitus specific tests are administered to patients that complain about symptoms. Three of the most common tests are pitch match, loudness match and the use of tinnitus questionnaires. Each one of these tests serves a specific purpose. They are needed to help professionals get a better understanding of what the patient is experiencing.
- Pitch Match Test – This test finds the frequency of sound that the patient is hearing. It is approximate, so very useful when figuring out the best treatment option. The test relies heavily on a patient’s accuracy in comparing tones.
- Loudness Match Test – A loudness match test quantifies the level of sound that a patient is hearing.
Treatment options for tinnitus
Just like there are many causes of tinnitus, there are also many treatments. Many hearing aids offer built-in, specialized tinnitus programs that help reduce or even eliminate the perception of tinnitus. The Center for Audiology also recommends the patented, FDA-approved Levo system as a tinnitus treatment option for more severe cases.