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4 Things to Ask Your Audiologist About Tinnitus
Can you hear a ringing in your ears? It may not even be a ringing. It could be a buzzing, a whistle or on occasion, a snippet of music. If so, it is likely that you are suffering from a condition known as tinnitus. Tinnitus causes people to hear sounds or noises that are not there. If you are suffering from tinnitus, you should consult an expert audiologist. They will be able to help you with this issue and provide the best possible treatment options. Here are some of the questions that you can ask your audiologist about tinnitus.
Will tinnitus get worse?
You might be worried that your tinnitus will get worse as you get older. While it is possible for tinnitus to get worse, for most people it will stay at the same level. An audiologist will help you hear and assure you that it is unlikely that your tinnitus will get louder. They can also provide you with advice on how to prevent further damage to your hearing that could cause your condition to get worse. It is likely that they are also aware of a phenomenon that many people with tinnitus experience. At night time it can seem like the noise is louder. However, this is actually simply a change in perception due to the quieter environment at this time of day.
Is it treatable?
The difficult thing about treating tinnitus is that it is actually a symptom of some other underlying issue. As such, treatment depends heavily upon the right diagnosis of what’s really causing the ringing or other sounds. For tinnitus caused by ototoxic medications, an audiologist can work with your primary care physician to choose a different medication. For tinnitus caused by impacted earwax, a simple treatment could be a good, old fashioned ear cleaning. Furthermore, tinnitus caused by hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. For more difficult cases, tinnitus can be treated with behavioral or cognitive therapies that can train the person suffering from tinnitus to deal with the frustration, annoyance and tinnitus symptoms better.
How can I live with it?
Tinnitus is a condition that while not harmful, can be incredibly frustrating and irritating. As such, you may be wondering what can be done about it, and an audiologist can help you there. While the condition can be difficult to treat, there are technological options as well as psychological treatment possibilities. For instance, you can train your mind not to notice the noise at all and for it never to reach conscious thought. By doing this, it can seem like the noise isn’t even there.
Is it dangerous?
As already mentioned, tinnitus is typically harmless. However, it can, but is not always one of the earliest signs that you are losing your hearing. It may also be a symptom of a cognitive issue rather than a hearing problem, but this is rare. That is why you should always see an audiologist so you can get checked out by an expert.
These are just some of the questions you can ask a trained audiologist about this condition.