Tinnitus – 7 Myths You Should Know

Tinnitus is probably causing that ringing or buzzing in your ear that doesn’t seem to go away. Maybe your doctor told you that it can’t be helped – that you’ll just have to deal with it?
Well, it is a condition that’s annoying at best and debilitating at worse – but there are ways to make it better. Here are some of the misconceptions that we have heard and the facts you need to know.
MYTH: There is nothing I can do about tinnitus.

FACT: Many people go to their doctor with complaints about ringing or buzzing in their ears and are told that there is little they can do about it. “It is just something you will have to deal with,” they say. “Try to ignore it.” But the fact is that there is a LOT you can do to lessen the effects.

Here are some proven ways to help decrease the ringing in your ears:
  • Prescriptive Sound Therapy – An important element in treatment is the use of sound. Amplified sound from hearing aids, environmental influences, music, or noise generators can help minimize the contrast between the buzzing or ringing of and the surrounding sound environment.
  • Ear Protection – Noise exposure is a leading cause of tinnitus. Wear ear protection when around loud sounds.
  • Counseling – Assessment and counseling with an experienced hearing healthcare professional trained in managing tinnitus can help determine the cause and minimize the negative impact it may have on your quality of life. The effects of tinnitus can often be lessened by a combination of counseling and sound therapy.
  • Relaxation exercises – Stress can often make tinnitus worse. Read a book, go for a walk, and practice breathing techniques and relaxation exercises.

MYTH: It is temporary and it will go away soon.

FACT: Some forms are temporary and caused by recent exposure to loud noise. Others are more long-lasting or consist of recurring episodes. It affects people in many ways.

MYTH: There are pills that will provide a cure.

FACT: Some companies will try to point you to a miraculous  cure where a few pills will stop all signs of tinnitus. While much research has been done around the effects of medication and vitamin supplements, there is currently no proven cure.  Only tinnitus management devices and sound therapy have been proven to decrease the effects.

MYTH: Hearing aids can’t help.

FACT: Hearing aids are one of the most effective ways to beat ringing in the ears because they:

  • Provide maximum amplification for very quiet environments thus reducing the contrast between tinnitus and silence
  • Limit the overall loudness of sound delivered to the ear in noisier environments, which may be critical for people with hearing loss

MYTH: Tinnitus and hearing loss aren’t linked.

FACT: Many people with ringing in the ears will also have a hearing loss. In fact, a recent French study showed that of 123 people with tinnitus surveyed only one did not have hearing loss.  The British Tinnitus Association estimates that 90 percent of people with tinnitus also have a hearing loss. Moreover, research says that those who don’t may have a “hidden hearing loss.”

MYTH: I never listened to loud music, so I won’t get it.

FACT: Noise exposure is one cause – but there are several more.

MYTH: Tinnitus is a new condition caused by MP3 players.  People didn’t have it in the old days.

FACT: It has been around for as long as people have been writing things down. A 2004 study says that even people in ancient Egypt made reference to the condition. Other research shows that the great composer Ludwig Van Beethoven had tinnitus.

If you think that you might be experiencing ringing in the ears or a hearing loss, Call Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ today at 772-286-4327 to schedule a free hearing evaluation with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.

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