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What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, which often sounds like a ringing or roaring sound, affects millions of people in the U.S. alone. Patients report varying degrees of severity and consistency with their tinnitus. Some patients experience tinnitus in only one ear, while other patients have tinnitus in both ears. Persistent cases of tinnitus can be a distraction to daily activities.

What are the causes of Tinnitus?

Unfortunately, the cause of tinnitus is different for every patient. The most common cases of tinnitus we see at Alabama Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialists are related to hearing loss in Tuscaloosa. Other related causes involve temporary ear damage from loud noises, aging, or jaw misalignment.  We also see patients with tinnitus due to blockages in the ear canal, head or neck trauma, sinus pressure, and sometimes a potential side-effect of certain medications. Although rare, tinnitus may be caused by a benign tumor, known as an acoustic neuroma, which can grow on your hearing nerve.

How is Tinnitus diagnosed?

Tinnitus is evaluated through a comprehensive audiogram, which consists of various types of hearing tests in Alabama. The test could include speech recognition, a tone audiogram to test hearing across multiple frequencies, middle ear functioning and muscles, and movement of hair cells within the ear. By conducting these tests, Alabama ENT can diagnose your specific type of tinnitus and assist with treatment options.

What impact does Tinnitus have on my overall health?

In a recent study, the American Tinnitus Association found that tinnitus also lead to several additional negative effects on 62% of patients including:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Who is at risk for Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is most commonly found in senior citizens, military personnel and veterans, those employed in loud work environments, musicians and music lovers that are constantly surrounded by loud music, and hunters. These groups are at particular risk due to their loud surroundings.

If you are experiencing persistent tinnitus, call Alabama ENT Specialists for appropriate management, which may include a comprehensive audiogram. Latest hearing aid technology may improve your ringing with a feature called a tinnitus masker. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss possible treatment options available.

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