Tinnitus can be a confusing condition. Many people around the world live with it, with over 50 million people in the US alone experiencing it on both a short term and chronic scale. 

However, many questions are often asked of audiologists as to why tinnitus occurs, what it sounds like, and what can be done about it. 

Here are some common FAQs about tinnitus, whether you live with it yourself, or you know someone who does. 

What are the Causes of Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of things, including general Hearing Loss, as well as an Ear Infection or Canal Blockage, and even an Injury to the Head or Neck can cause tinnitus symptoms to arise. 

Are There Different Types of Tinnitus?

There are various identified types of tinnitus:

  • Subjective tinnitus: Most commonly experienced, this is where a person can hear a constant noise in their ear without experiencing this noise in their environment. 
  • Somatic tinnitus: Similar to the subjective type, this is a more severe form of tinnitus depending on whether or not a person has Sensory System issues. 
  • Objective tinnitus: Caused by muscular or structural issues within the ear, this form of tinnitus can be heard by an audiologist during situations such as hearing tests. 

Who Can Get Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be experienced by people of all ages, but it’s much more likely to occur in adults over the age of 25. It’s most commonly experienced by people who are aged 65 and over, with those aged between 65-69, thanks to the age-related hearing loss experienced by people in this age bracket. 

How is Tinnitus Treated?

Tinnitus has many treatments available to help alleviate the common symptoms many people will experience. However, it’s rare for tinnitus to be treated to a degree where it’s no longer experienced. Those with objective tinnitus are most likely to be able to have their symptoms removed completely. 

Hearing Aids 

These are hearing aids that can be equipped with a masking feature. This plays low level and broad frequencies that help to mask the sounds tinnitus produces. These can be used on the go, and are fitted like regular aids. 

Sound Machines  

White noise machines can be used in casual environments to help eliminate the impact tinnitus has on healthy sleep levels. 

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

An audiologist will guide you using coping methods to help reduce the stress tinnitus causes in your lifestyle, via the use of both psychological techniques, as well as hearing technology to allow a person to start ignoring their symptoms. 

Lifestyle Modifications

Many people will also be advised to think about taking different medications that may help to reduce symptoms. Similarly, for people who smoke and drink on a regular basis, they can be helped into cutting back for the good of their hearing health. Some people will even be offered regular ear war removal to ensure good health of the fine hairs within the ear.