If you suffer from tinnitus, or “ringing in your ears,” then you probably have been told or have read that there is “no cure.” Tinnitus is an annoying, sometimes alarming, ringing in your ears that is often caused by exposure to loud noise and/or hearing loss from an illness. And it affects people of all ages. If you have ringing in your ears or are hearing some other type of sound and have not seen an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT) or an audiologist, I strongly recommend that you make an appointment to see one to have your hearing and tinnitus evaluated.
My own diagnosis of tinnitus has led me to learn about effective treatments and helpful life style changes. I probably have had a low level of tinnitus for many years, but did not realize what I was hearing was not what everyone else hears. It became noticeable to me at a holiday family gathering. Sitting in the dining room with my extended family, I stopped the conversation to ask if anyone knew what “that sound” was coming from-was it the refrigerator? To my surprise, no one but me heard it.
After an evaluation by an ENT and tests by an audiologist, I was diagnosed with tinnitus and minor hearing loss. The hearing loss likely came from listening to podcasts and music through air pods. (I have retired the air pods and bought safer “on the ear” (as opposed to “over the ear”) headphones to use with sound therapy. Yes, sound THERAPY for tinnitus. There are helpful treatments and there is HOPE.
Interestingly, although tinnitus often starts with damage to one’s hearing (exposure to loud noise, etc), or other health problems (e.g., Meniere’s Disease), the problem itself is actually one caused by the brain. With hearing loss, the brain searches for sounds the ear no longer perceives and when it does not find those sounds, it generates them.
What I initially learned about tinnitus was not encouraging: there’s no cure. While that may be the case, there are many effective treatments that can significantly reduce the symptoms and intrusive nature of tinnitus. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a treatment that studies show helps with tinnitus symptom management and improves the overall distress one experiences.
It is extremely important that you do what you can to learn more about tinnitus, treatment options, and develop your own plan to help you cope with the annoying symptoms and improve your quality of life.
I treat tinnitus with CBT and an integrative approach to symptom management and relief. In addition, I have compiled a list of resources, including helpful apps and programs to use as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to help you better manage your symptoms and actually find relief. One major resource for information and resources is the American Tinnitus Association. I highly recommend the ATA.
If you are suffering from tinnitus or ringing in the ears, you can absolutely do things to improve your situation. Do not lose hope or suffer needlessly. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop an individualized treatment program for you, including CBT, to help you find some genuine relief. You can schedule an appointment by clicking on the “Book Now” button. I can be reached at email@example.com and (908) 857-4422.