What is Tinnitus?
Ringing in your ears.
Tinnitus, most often described as buzzing, hissing, or ringing in the ears can be a very uncomfortable condition that steals a person of the joy and peacefulness in life. Its perceived volume can range from very soft to extremely loud. 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree. Of these, about 12 million have tinnitus which is severe enough to seek medical attention. Of those, about two million patients are so seriously debilitated by their tinnitus, that their day to day functioning is affected.
For most people, the reassurance by their physician that there are no serious medical problems allows them to better cope with the sounds that they hear. For others, however, the persistent sounds of tinnitus can continue to be disruptive and stressful. These patients need help learning how to cope with the ringing and buzzing of tinnitus.
The exact cause (or causes) of tinnitus is not known in every case. There are, however, several likely factors which may cause tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse: noise-induced hearing loss, wax , some medications, infections, age-related hearing loss, ear diseases, head and neck trauma and many others. Exposure to loud noises and hearing loss are the most common causes of tinnitus. Hearing aids may offer relief of tinnitus.
Hyperacusis is a hypersensitivity to common, everyday sounds. This condition is present in 40% of tinnitus sufferers, although anyone can experience this disorder. Hyperacusis can make even the simplest of activities impossible due to the anticipation of how ordinary sounds will be perceived. Past buzzing or ringing in the ears, tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment techniques and oral products have proven to be unsuccessful with a very large majority of patients. There is now new hope for the successful long-term management of ringing in the ears.
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