Do you hear something? Is it a ringing, thumping, humming or other sound that others say “isn’t there”?
It’s impossible to follow a conversation when it gets bad. Your nerves feel up on end. And sleeping, well forget about sleeping. When it gets really bad you toss and turn and groan in agony all night long.
Researchers have created a device can help figure out what’s causing that annoying sound.
The Tinnitus Clinic
The tinnitus clinic is a UK-based independent hearing service. Their mission is to provide education regarding the causes of and treatments for tinnitus, much like Helping Me Hear.
They’ve enlisted some experts to help them create a very useful online tinnitus tool.
How the Tool Works
This tool allows you to listen to a series of sounds. When you hear the sound that most resembles the sound of your tinnitus, check a box.
You’ll immediately find out what your type of tinnitus is called.
For example, you might have:
- Tonal tinnitus
- Atonal tinnitus
Once you discover the type of tinnitus you have, it shows you the treatment options that work best for that form of tinnitus.
Treatments for Tonal and Atonal Tinnitus
Tonal tinnitus is the most common type of tinnitus. It sounds more or less like a single tone. That tone could be very high-pitched at various levels. Or it might be a low TV static-type tone.
Atonal tinnitus a more complex sound such as a cicada sound or hissing.
Tonal tinnitus is treated with:
- Desensitization – desensitization helps redirect your brain away from the sound so that you’re less aware of it and hear it less often.
- Sound Therapy – This FDA-approved therapy plays a sound into the ear that sounds like the tinnitus sound. Over time, the matching sound helps the brain learn to tune the sound out. A person will normally wear a device while they sleep to train the brain not to hear it.
Atonal Tinnitus Is treated with the same treatments. But it’s important for your hearing specialist to know what type of tinnitus you have to fine-tune that treatment for your unique tinnitus. After checking out the tool, find a hearing specialist near you to confirm diagnosis and get help.
How to Get Treatment for Your Tinnitus
An online tool like this is a great place to start. But once you know what kind of tinnitus you have, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. Unlike your regular doctor, hearing specialists are specifically trained on discovering the causes of different types of tinnitus and offering solutions that provide real relief.
They will discuss whether desensitization or sound therapy is a better option for you.
In many cases, these therapies are part of your existing hearing aids and you may not know it. Or you can purchase hearing aids that include this technology if you don’t have any.
Hearing aids help reduce tinnitus in many ways.
Studies have also shown that wearing hearing aids for an extended period of time will over time reduce the tinnitus even when you take the hearing aids off to sleep, swim, etc.
If you are suffering with tinnitus and only mild noise-induced hearing loss, open-fit hearing aids are often the ideal solution. This very small device sits behind your ear while a very fine tube rests inside the canal delivering sound therapy or, if needed, amplification of outside sounds.
What’s Causing that Ringing in Your Ears?
Do you have tinnitus? Check out this tool to learn more about your symptoms. Tinnitus is normally caused by something else like noise-induced hearing loss, anxiety or high blood pressure.
Speak with a hearing specialist to both investigate the cause and learn about solutions. Many people simply suffer with their symptoms. But you don’t have to.