Debunking Common Tinnitus Myths
Millions of people worldwide struggle with tinnitus. Often associated with a phantom ringing in the ears, tinnitus can be expressed in a variety of ways, from a roaring sound to constant, high-pitched squealing.
Since subjective tinnitus can only be heard by the person with tinnitus, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Some people even believe that tinnitus is a purely mental phenomenon. However, that is just one of many tinnitus myths.
To help you sort tinnitus fact from fiction, The Hearing Clinic is here to debunk the most common tinnitus myths.
Myth - There Is Only One Type Of Tinnitus
Temporary tinnitus is a very common condition. It is pretty safe to say that most people will experience temporary tinnitus at least once in their lives. But temporary tinnitus is just that—temporary and will disappear in a few minutes. It leaves some people believing that there is only this one type of tinnitus and that anyone who is struggling with long-term tinnitus is exaggerating.
The reality is that there are three basic types of tinnitus: temporary tinnitus, subjective tinnitus, and objective tinnitus.
With subjective tinnitus, the symptoms can come and go, ranging from mild to severe. If you are experiencing longer episodes of tinnitus—ones that last a week or more—then you have subjective tinnitus.
Objective tinnitus is a serious condition that is actually audible during a hearing exam. For those with objective tinnitus, immediate treatment is needed as it indicates a serious issue with the bones within your ears or other health conditions.
Myth - You Only Get Tinnitus With Loud Noises
It is commonly believed that tinnitus is caused by loud noise exposure from things like using firearms without hearing protection or listening to music too loudly. While these circumstances certainly can damage your hearing as well as trigger tinnitus, they are not the only causes of tinnitus.
The better we understand tinnitus, the clearer it is that there are many causes for tinnitus. Sometimes tinnitus is caused by the sound transmitting hair cells in the inner ear misfiring, while in other instances, tinnitus can be caused by sound deprivation. In other instances, tinnitus can be a result of changes in your health or diet.
As there are many variables in managing tinnitus effectively, that’s why our hearing health care professionals always provide an in-depth medical and hearing evaluation. That way, they can provide the best tinnitus treatment solutions for your needs.
Myth - This—Supplement, Pill, Shot, Etc—Can Cure Your Tinnitus
Like with any chronic condition, there is always the hope for a cure. However, at this time, there is no cure for tinnitus. So, it is best to be very cautious around anyone offering a cure for tinnitus.
While there are no special cures for tinnitus, there are effective tinnitus treatments available, such as sound maskers, hearing aids with tinnitus management, tinnitus retraining therapy, and other options.
Myth - Nothing Can Fix My Tinnitus
Depression is a common side-effect of tinnitus. Those individuals who have lived with tinnitus long-term may end up feeling as though there is no hope and become depressed. Tinnitus also can trigger anxiety and stress, which has the effect of increasing tinnitus symptoms.
To break this destructive cycle, stress management and tinnitus treatment are essential. Finding effective ways to destress will help you naturally manage your tinnitus. Some stress-relief tactics you may want to try are:
- Regular exercise
- Delegating tasks
- Creating time to relax
Myth - Hearing Loss And Tinnitus Are Separate Problems
When someone is struggling with tinnitus, it can become easy to think of tinnitus as a completely separate hearing issue. These individuals often are surprised when they find out that an in-depth hearing evaluation is part of a tinnitus evaluation. But when you consider that both hearing loss and tinnitus are both issues of the auditory system, it makes more sense how these two problems interact.
More than half of those who have tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss. That hearing loss may be mild, but in many cases, the volume of their tinnitus has covered up the fact that they also have lost some hearing range. In these cases, hearing aids can help solve both problems, as it allows you to reconnect with the world of sound and not be isolated by your hearing loss and tinnitus.
Myth - Tinnitus Is All In My Head
Those health care professionals who do not specialize often recommend that tinnitus sufferers learn to live with tinnitus. While others insist that overcoming tinnitus is just a mind over matter issue.
The reality is that tinnitus is more than just a phantom sound in your head. MRI scans of the brains of those with tinnitus show a decrease of grey matter in relevant areas and an overactive amygdala. With these scans proving the actual impact of tinnitus, you should never feel ashamed of needing help overcoming tinnitus.
Myth - Hearing Aids Don't Help With Tinnitus
Hearing aids are controlled medical devices, which can lead some people to believe that they cannot receive them unless they have hearing loss. But, even if you don’t have hearing loss as well as tinnitus, hearing aids can help you manage your tinnitus effectively.
Many hearing aid brands have at least one or more styles of hearing aids that come with tinnitus management programs. Most can be pre-programmed by our audiologist, and there are some hearing aids tinnitus sound management programs that you can control from your smartphone or tablet.
Find Effective Tinnitus Treatment At The Hearing Clinic
For effective tinnitus treatment, it is essential that you work with professionals who are experienced in providing treatment as well as personalized care. You can find both these things and more at The Hearing Clinic.
With our main clinic in Denver as well as clinics in the surrounding area, our hearing health care professionals have provided countless individuals with help to resolve their hearing problems.
If you are ready to address your tinnitus and find the most effective tinnitus treatment for your needs, please contact us for an appointment with our hearing specialists.