When Should You See an Audiologist About Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom best described as when you hear noises, either in your head or in your ear, that do not have any external sources. Sometimes this noise sounds like a buzzing, roaring, musical note or heartbeat. Sometimes it’s constant; sometimes it gets worse at night, and sometimes it cuts in and out. As a varied symptom, rather than a condition, tinnitus has a wide range of potential causes and can be tricky to diagnose.
However, regardless of what the diagnosis is, you can still find treatment to help manage it and live with it. As common as tinnitus is, it can have significant impacts on your quality of life. There are numerous ways to treat it, so here’s when you should see your audiologist about it.
If it’s only present in one ear
If the noises that present as a symptom of tinnitus are specifically experienced in one ear, this could be related to other ear health issues. For instance, tinnitus can be a symptom of age-related hearing loss, earwax impactions, exposure to unsafe levels of noise and other issues that could have their source in the ear. The audiologist may be able to help you treat the causes, which can also alleviate the symptoms.
If the sound accompanies difficulty hearing
Hearing loss, whether it’s age-related, caused by exposure to unsafe levels of noise, or by other factors, is one of the most common causes of tinnitus. Your audiologist is the best-suited partner to help you treat your hearing loss, which can alleviate tinnitus symptoms at the same time. Furthermore, many modern hearing aids also have tinnitus-masking features that can help you acclimate to it and make it less noticeable.
Your tinnitus is greatly impacting your quality of life
Tinnitus is more than just a simple symptom that can be easily ignored. Often, it can cause issues with sleeplessness at night, and an increased risk of depression, stress and anxiety. The impact it can have on your quality of life, especially when it’s untreated, can be profound. Though not every method of treatment works equally for all, audiologists have a range of potential ways they can help.
Your tinnitus is accompanied by dizziness
Audiologists are medically trained specialists who can treat a lot more than just hearing loss. They also help with a range of balance-related disorders such as vertigo. If you feel dizzy or lose your sense of balance while experiencing tinnitus, it could be a sign that there is a condition like vertigo that could be causing or contributing to it. Your audiologist could help you find and treat it.
It sounds like a heartbeat
Tinnitus can manifest in many different ways, and when it sounds like a heartbeat, it’s known as pulsatile tinnitus. This type of tinnitus has a range of potential causes, including increased blood flow or in specific places like the inner ear. It can also be caused by benign tumors in the ear, head or neck. Pulsatile tinnitus is also associated with other ear-related issues such as a perforated eardrum and glue ear, which tend to make us more aware of sounds inside our body, such as our heartbeat.
How your audiologist can help you with tinnitus
Audiologists are on the front line when it comes to finding and developing new ways to diagnose and treat tinnitus. Besides being able to spot a host of hearing, ear health and balance-related issues that could be a cause, your audiologist can help treat it in a variety of different ways.
If you have hearing loss or even if you don’t, hearing aids can help return your hearing to normal levels, which can include noise cancellation features tuned to the pitch and volume of your tinnitus. They can also recommend white noise devices that produce a certain level of background noise so that tinnitus becomes less noticeable. These devices come in both sizes large enough to put on your bedside desk as well as ones that look and are used similarly to hearing aids.
If you’re experiencing a diminished quality of life due to tinnitus, your audiologist could also help you gain access to cognitive and behavioral therapies that are more geared to fight the side-effects of tinnitus.
Get in touch and fight tinnitus today
From diagnosing the cause to finding the right solution, The Hearing and Tinnitus Center is eager to help you fight your tinnitus today. Get in touch by calling 303-534-0163 today if you want to make an appointment or have any questions.