What’s the ‘buzz’ Word?

by Amit Sahni Audiologist

Often individuals suffering from tinnitus will experience noises of various kinds coming from within their head instead of an external source. It can be buzzing, hissing, ringing, screeching, roaring, whooshing, clicking, pulsing, static and even music. Since tinnitus produces such an extensive range of sounds, each individual also experiences it a little bit differently. Therefore, audiologists cannot treat all patients of tinnitus equally and will need to customize their treatments accordingly. The sounds may be heard constantly or may even come and go. Whatever their frequency, it’s a condition that can incur considerable personal, social or financial costs to individuals and the society alike.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Overexposure to noise is the most common cause for tinnitus. People who frequent pubs and music concert venues expose their ears to high levels of sound volume. Others who are exposed to such loud noises include those using firearms or involved in professions employing machinery that produce excessive noise. Over a period of time, it damages the tiny sensory hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear causing them to die.  The loss of certain sound frequencies leads to changes in how our brain processes sounds and leads to buzzing, roaring or ringing sounds.  Other causes that can trigger tinnitus or make it worse include medication, ageing, caffeine, smoking and alcohol. One is more likely to have hearing loss when experiencing this condition. Not surprisingly, it is common for such individuals to use hearing aids for tinnitus.

How Tinnitus Affects Us?

The condition has the ability to affect individuals from very mild to severe such as irritability, poor concentration, mood swings, sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety among others. While for some, it may be a mild distraction, but for others it can be extremely difficult and can isolate them from family, friends and community.  In such cases, hearing aids for tinnitus can provide our hearing mechanism and brain the natural stimulation it needs by masking the effects of tinnitus.

Available Therapies

Many health professionals believe tinnitus to be a symptom of another illness rather than a disease itself. Currently, there is no approved drug specifically to cure tinnitus. However, there are different types of therapies available to manage or bring down the depression, stress and anxiety that are caused as a result of tinnitus. Individuals can be advised to make certain lifestyle changes such as adding an exercise regime or a hobby which will bring an improvement in their general wellness. They may also find relief from hearing aids for tinnitus or even sound masking devices. Of course, sound therapies do not cure but they may help considerably in lowering the perceived burden of tinnitus and are usually effective only during or immediately after active use. Another therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that helps people to identify negative thoughts associated with the condition. Instead of masking them, it teaches them to accept it.

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About Amit Sahni Freshman   Audiologist

9 connections, 0 recommendations, 35 honor points.
Joined APSense since, July 19th, 2016, From Morley, Australia.

Created on Mar 6th 2019 00:21. Viewed 542 times.


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