Have you ever experienced an unexplained ringing in your ear? This confusing symptom is known as tinnitus. Millions of people experience tinnitus, but there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. Below is a look at some of the most common myths we hear and the truth behind them.
Tinnitus Is a Disease
False. Tinnitus is the symptom of an underlying disorder rather than a disease itself. Tinnitus can occur as the result of neurological damage, vascular disease, exposure to loud noises, a traumatic brain injury or even from taking certain medication.
Tinnitus Only Occurs with Hearing Loss
False. While hearing loss and tinnitus are closely related – as many as 90% of those with tinnitus also experience hearing loss – they can occur independently of each other.
Hearing loss and tinnitus can both occur as the direct result of exposure to really loud noises, such as attending one too many live shows at The National in Richmond without hearing protection or working for years in construction.
Tinnitus Will Make You Deaf
False. As discussed above, even though they are often experienced together, tinnitus does not mean you will develop hearing loss. And it certainly does not mean your hearing loss will be severe enough to be classified as deaf.
Tinnitus Cannot be Helped by Hearing Aids
False. One of the most common treatments for tinnitus is the use of hearing aids. Since so many people experience both hearing loss and tinnitus, many already wear a hearing aid. Newer hearing aids often come with a tinnitus setting that helps mask the bothersome ringing.
Tinnitus Cannot Be Treated
False. While there are no cures for the ringing in the ear, there are a number of available treatments to help make the ringing less bothersome. Common treatment options include:
- Sound masking.
- Sound therapy.
- Stress management.
Tinnitus Is Harmless
False. Tinnitus can cause emotional issues, sleep problems and stress. It may also be a symptom of an underlying serious medical condition such as an acoustic neuroma, high blood pressure or even heart disease. This is why you should seek medical attention if you are experiencing a ringing in the ear.
To learn more about tinnitus or to schedule an appointment with a tinnitus expert, contact
The Audiology Offices today.