Beat the buzz in your ear

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Are you experiencing a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sensation in one or both ears? It could be linked to tinnitus. Watch in the video below as nurse practitioner, Aaron Lanning from Spectrum Health Lakeland Ear, Nose and Throat shares common causes of tinnitus, techniques for controlling symptoms, and the latest research for relief and management. Ready to take the next step in care? Contact our office. 

Understanding tinnitus

Tinnitus is the sound of ringing in the ears. It may also be described as roaring, buzzing, hissing, or clicking inside the head. The sounds may come and go. Or they may be ongoing. The sound may happen in one or both ears. Sounds may have different tones.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of tinnitus includes a complete health history and physical exam. Your healthcare provider may request an audiological evaluation. Depending on the suspected cause of the tinnitus, other tests may be needed. Connect with our team, call 269.687.2910, in Niles or 269.982.3368in St. Joseph.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus may be caused by many things, including:

  • Damage to the nerve endings in the inner ear

  • Stiffening of bones in the middle ear 

  • Exposure to loud noises

  • Allergy

  • High or low blood pressure

  • Tumor

  • Diabetes or thyroid problems

  • Head or neck injury

  • Reaction to certain medicines

  • Wax buildup

  • Jaw misalignment 

Treatment and relief management 

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Currently there is no known cure for tinnitus. But experts suggest trying one of the following to find relief:

  • Hearing aids. These may help some people with tinnitus who have hearing loss. Using a hearing aid may make some sounds louder.

  • Cochlear implants. This option is for those who have tinnitus and severe hearing loss. 

  • Maskers. These provide help for some people by making tinnitus less noticeable. This small electronic device creates sound that may make the ringing or roaring seem softer.

  • Medicines. Some medicines may ease tinnitus by addressing a problem linked to the condition. Medicines may also improve mood or sleep.

  • Tinnitus retraining therapy. This therapy uses a combination of counseling and maskers. An ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) or a hearing specialist (audiologist) can help you learn how to deal with the tinnitus.  

Living with tinnitus

Tinnitus can affect your quality of life. Your healthcare provider may be able to figure out the underlying cause, which can then be treated. Work with your Ear, Nose and Throat provider to come up with ways to reduce tinnitus.

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