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Why is There No Cure for Tinnitus?

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

Tinnitus is a common hearing condition and one of the few that doesn’t have a cure. 

There are varying degrees of tinnitus, and one of the impacts of tinnitus is the person who has it might not be able to rest or concentrate well. Tinnitus can be persistent, or it may be intermittent – however, no matter which type of tinnitus, there are things that can alleviate it. 

What is tinnitus? 

Many people hear noises that are not from the outside world. Instead, they are internal. This is known as tinnitus. Most of the time, tinnitus is assumed to be ringing. However, it can be experienced in a wide range of sounds and sensations. 

Here are some of the sounds that can be heard: 

  • Whistling
  • Bussing
  • Clicking
  • Throbbing sensation and noise
  • Music and singing
  • Hissing
  • Swooshing

How can tinnitus be diagnosed?

There is a range of tests that can be performed to diagnose tinnitus; most often, the first step will be an examination with an audiologist. The audiologist will perform tests and evaluations to check your hearing ability, as well as discuss your symptoms.

When diagnosing hearing loss – which is commonly connected to tinnitus – one of the most common tests will be to have the person with suspected tinnitus in a quiet room with headphones on. The headphones will play a series of sounds. Each time the sound is heard, the person taking the test will indicate that they have heard them. 

For each age group, there is a ‘normal’ range of hearing, and this will be used to assess the level of hearing. Often hearing loss can be one of the contributing factors to tinnitus. 

Balance and movements can also be investigated, relaxing and clenching the jaw, movement of the body and even eye movements may impact the tinnitus. Some tests can highlight changes within the body impacting tinnitus. 

Can tinnitus be cured?

Since the symptoms of tinnitus typically stem from something else, it is not classified as a disease on its own. There are some more common reasons that tinnitus happens: 

  • Exposure to loud sounds
  • Acoustic trauma
  • Hearing loss
  • Some prescribed medications

There are also several health disorders that can increase the likelihood of tinnitus. Due to the fact, there are many different triggers for tinnitus, there are no available cures. Tinnitus also has a range of subtypes, and since the trigger for the type of tinnitus is not always clear, an effective cure is difficult to find. 

Can the effects of tinnitus be reduced?

One of the essential things for tinnitus, since there is no cure, is to have a management plan. A management plan for tinnitus will include a series of methods that can minimize the impact of tinnitus on daily living. 

Hearing aids

Since tinnitus can be caused or increased by hearing loss, a hearing aid can be a valuable tool to minimize the effects. Many types of hearing aids have technology that is dedicated to reducing the impact of tinnitus. These features will mask the sounds tinnitus causes. Your audiologist will be able to discuss your hearing aid needs and help create a management plan. 

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)

Stress is one of the common impacts of tinnitus, and psychological intervention in the form of cognitive behavior therapy can play a significant part in the role of managing tinnitus. CBT combined with tinnitus retraining therapy can enhance the quality of life even more.

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)

TRT includes retraining the brain to ignore tinnitus noises and instead concentrate on external stimuli. TRT is particularly beneficial in environments where tinnitus is more widespread. This is commonly used in tandem with other treatments for the most beneficial results.

Sounds 

Using outside sounds to help with tinnitus is a commonly recommended method. Often when there are no other outside noises, the tinnitus can sound louder and be more invasive. One of the most common tinnitus remedies is to listen to calm music as often as possible. The ringing or buzzing may be more significant at night, so noise generators that play rainforest noises, rain, or other gentle sounds can assist in reducing the impact.

A low-volume room fan, static radio, white noise or low-volume radio can all be helpful in the house.

Stress

Tinnitus can be impacted by stress, so often, part of managing tinnitus will look at lifestyle. It is also vital that the person who has tinnitus has enough rest and does other activities that help to reduce their overall stress levels. It can also be essential to be able to recognize general stressors to help minimize their impact before it becomes a bigger problem. 

Having the right hearing team is one of the most essential parts of managing tinnitus - Hearing & Balance Specialist of Illinois on this number: 775-336-0211