Eyes and Ears: More in Common Than You Think! 4 Reasons to Keep Your
Frustrated by Tinnitus? Ask an Audiologist About These Treatment Options
If you’ve ever experienced a high-pitched ringing in your ears, even for a short time, you know how distracting and stressful it can be. Imagine having to deal with it daily! The reality is that an estimated 50 million Americans do — many of which have no idea how to treat it, or have heard it can’t be treated.
The good news is that, while tinnitus isn’t curable, there are many possible solutions an audiologist can provide. If you’re tired of struggling with constant ringing in your ears, ask one whether one of the following treatment options might work for you.
1. Hearing aids
Tinnitus is a common sign of hearing loss, so this is one of the first avenues to explore in treating it. Do you struggle to hear conversations in a crowded room? Does the volume on our personal devices exceed others’ comfort level? Consider the possibility that you might need hearing aids. In many cases, hearing aids can at least lessen the hearer’s perception of tinnitus.
2. Sound therapy and masking devices
Masking devices include ambient (white noise) sound machines that provide listening relief by either drowning out or drawing attention away from tinnitus. Some of these devices are even being built into newer models of hearing aids to treat both problems at the same time. If you don’t have hearing loss, you may also benefit from a stand-alone masking device that resembles a hearing aid.
3. Cochlear implants
People that are born or become completely deaf in both ears can still experience tinnitus since it’s a problem that originates in the brain – not the ears. In this case, cochlear implants can restore hearing and alleviate tinnitus, must as hearing aids do for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
Even though there are no FDA-approved drugs specifically for tinnitus, some prescription medications can help you handle the symptoms. Based on your individual case, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants or antianxiety medications that can help you cope with the psychological stress tinnitus causes.
In recent years, some have turned to over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and off-label treatments with other medications, hoping for a miracle cure. Always use caution with medications that aren’t FDA-approved or prescribed by your doctor. Regardless of how convincing a company’s marketing strategy or case studies might be, there’s little clinical evidence to back up claims that a single drug can cure tinnitus.
In the search for tinnitus relief, there are many possible solutions. To find out which one is right in your case, talk with an audiologist who can diagnose your symptoms and suggest the treatments that are most likely to help you.