Tinnitus is a symptom that causes individuals to hear unexplained ringing, buzzing, or throbbing sounds. These sensations may be constant, or they may come and go throughout the day at various levels of intensity. Having tinnitus can significantly impact one’s quality of life, and the condition, unfortunately, has no known cause or cure. However, an audiologist may be able to help patients manage symptoms and live more comfortably.
Why Is There No Cure?
Rather than being a disease or condition on its own, tinnitus is a symptom that can have many causes, including earwax buildup, untreated hearing loss, and ear infections. It may also occur with no apparent cause at all. When the underlying cause of a patient’s tinnitus is unknown, there is likely no way to completely “cure” the ringing, buzzing, or throbbing sensations. In such cases, an audiologist may still be able to help minimize the symptoms directly.
The symptoms, duration, and intensity of tinnitus vary from person to person, and they may or may not be permanent. Some may experience it for the rest of their lives, while others may notice gradual improvement or even have their symptoms disappear entirely. Because tinnitus can have a significant effect on a person’s quality of life, however, it’s important to visit an audiologist for possible treatment instead of waiting for symptoms to disappear on their own.
How Can an Audiologist Help?
Tinnitus may be a symptom of a medical issue, and an audiologist would make the appropriate referral to a physician when indicated. In cases where tinnitus has no obvious cause, however, there may still be treatment options that can lessen the impact of symptoms. For example, hearing aids can be used to make it easier for a patient to hear sounds beyond the symptoms while also “masking” symptoms with specific noises that cancel out the ringing or buzzing. Some patients may also benefit from sound machines or sound masking devices, which can train the brain to more effectively accommodate and tune out tinnitus symptoms.
If you experience unexplained ringing, buzzing, or throbbing sounds, visit an audiologist to investigate the cause and explore treatment options. Our team at Associated Hearing Professionals has decades of experience helping St. Louis-area patients with tinnitus assessments and treatments. To schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling 314-725-2686 in St. Louis or 636-778-9232 in Chesterfield.