Tinnitus, Hearing Loss & You
Those sounds in your ear or head that seem to come out of nowhere? They could indicate tinnitus, which affects children and adults around the world — including some 50 million people in the U.S., per the American Tinnitus Association. Read on to learn more about tinnitus, its connection to hearing loss, and the important role hearing aids and earplugs can play.
What Is Tinnitus?
Let’s start with what it’s not: a disease. Rather, tinnitus — characterized by buzzing, humming, hissing, clicking, ringing, or other head noises that only you can hear — is a potential symptom of possible underlying health issues such as:
- Head or neck trauma
- Ear infection
- Vascular disorders
- Earwax blockage
- Hearing loss
For some who experience tinnitus, the sounds may come and go at random, last briefly, and happen infrequently. Others may suffer more regular occurrences that last for days on end, significantly interfering with everyday activities — working, sleeping, recreating — and affecting quality of life.
The good news? Tinnitus can be effectively managed. Addressing the underlying condition can provide relief, making it important to seek an in-depth evaluation to rule out possible medical factors that may be the source or a contributing cause. An exam can also help identify next steps, based on specific symptoms.
How Are Tinnitus & Hearing Loss Connected?
Tinnitus and hearing loss, both of which can be caused by factors such as exposure to dangerous noise levels, often go hand in hand. Many people who have tinnitus also have hearing loss. Though research into the condition is ongoing, the problem is thought to typically be an issue of the auditory system, which involves organs such as the ears and parts of the brain that process sound.
Did you know?
- The majority of tinnitus cases are caused by “hearing loss at the cochlea or cochlear nerve level,” as explained in a Harvard Medical School report.
- Both tinnitus and hearing loss are twice as prevalent among dentists, who often use loud dental equipment in the course of helping their patients.
What’s the Role of Hearing Aids in Tackling Tinnitus?
There isn’t yet a single cure for tinnitus, but scientists are on the case. For many who experience tinnitus together with hearing loss, the best treatment may be hearing technology.
Using hearing aids tailored to your needs not only can improve your hearing but can also reduce or eliminate the perception of ringing or buzzing in your ears. Some hearing devices even feature tinnitus management and relief technology.
At Red Rose Hearing Center, our audiologists have the knowledge and experience to provide you with treatment methods that can help lessen the impact tinnitus has on your life. Because tinnitus symptoms are personal to each individual, an in-depth evaluation will help us create a specialized treatment plan for you.
How Can Earplugs Help?
Just like hearing loss, tinnitus is also associated with loud sounds that can damage your ears and hearing. Avoiding prolonged exposure to harmful noise — especially at volumes in the danger zone of 85 decibels or higher — can potentially go a long way toward tinnitus prevention.
So let’s talk earplugs, an important form of hearing protection. Using them in high-volume activities such as shooting, attending concerts, and handling heavy equipment or machinery can help reduce the risk of tinnitus ¬— and hearing loss:
Rock out to your favorite artists without the dangerous decibels that can do a number on your hearing. These plugs are also ideal for machinists, airport and airline staff, dentists, music instructors, and others working in high-noise environments.
When it comes to hunting, you want the shot — not the hearing loss. Hunting plugs help keep out intense, harmful noise while allowing you to easily hear conversations, warnings, and other critical sounds.
Give it your all on stage without hurting your ears. Musician plugs can offer a high-quality audio experience that helps deaden external noise, provides clear sound, and helps achieve consistent performances.
The best part about earplugs? They can be customized to comfortably and securely fit your ears.
Are you or a loved one seeking help for tinnitus? Relief can come in many options, so don’t wait. Contact Red Rose Hearing Center to schedule an evaluation today. We’ve proudly served Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for more than 20 years and are here to help you hear and live your best!