Myths about Tinnitus

Debunked: Top Myths about Tinnitus

According to the US Center for Disease Control, approximately 50 million Americans (15 percent) has tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Better defined as the “perception of sound when no sound is present,” those who suffer from this condition know how debilitating it can be. Tinnitus can negatively impact your life. Tinnitus can affect both your personal and professional life, and it can also lead to depression and stress.

There are a lot of myths about tinnitus that we would like to put to bed. Being able to distinguish fact from fiction will give you the best chance to approach this condition correctly and improve your quality of life.

Myth: Tinnitus only causes ringing in the ears.
Fact: While many think about tinnitus as “ear ringing,” tinnitus is technically the perception of noise that is only heard by the person affected. Meaning, depending on the person the sound may be a ringing, whooshing, buzzing, whistling, or a humming noise. It is normal for these sounds to vary from person to person and from day to day, as the tones can change day to day.
Myth: Hearing loss and tinnitus go hand in hand.
Fact: While many people who have tinnitus also experience hearing loss, they don’t go hand in hand. You can suffer from hearing loss without tinnitus, and vice versa. Both ailments will not cause the other, and both can operate independently of one another. Tinnitus can occur temporarily when you are exposed to a loud noise, and in some instances, medications can cause you to experience tinnitus as a side effect. While these conditions can coexist, they are two separate conditions.
Myth: There is no cure for tinnitus.
Fact: Depending on the reason for your tinnitus, this may not be true. Sometimes tinnitus can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, or it could be a reaction to a medication that you are taking. If you alter your medications or if your condition can be corrected, tinnitus may go away. Otherwise, while there is no cure for chronic sufferers, there are treatments available to help you lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Myth: You can’t get help if you have tinnitus.
Fact: As we just mentioned in our previous fact, there are ways to help make your condition more manageable. A healthcare professional can help determine if there is an underlying condition present that is causing you to have tinnitus in the first place and address them appropriately. Also, an audiologist can offer solutions to help you lessen the severity of your symptoms. Luckily, research is continually being done, and treatments are always evolving.
Myth: Hearing aids will not help your tinnitus
Fact: Hearing aid technology is consistently evolving, and many modern hearing aids can address both hearing loss and the symptoms of tinnitus. Advanced hearing aids have the ability to increase the sounds of the external noises around you so it can mask the sounds of tinnitus. Recent research conducted by the Better Hearing Institute discovered that 66 percent of hearing aid users stated that wearing hearing aids has alleviated their tinnitus symptoms most of the time, while 30 percent of hearing aid users indicated that hearing aids were able to relieve their tinnitus symptoms entirely.
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