Tinnitus FAQs

Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound when no external sound is present. Tinnitus is often described as ringing, buzzing, hissing, etc. Tinnitus can be present constantly or occur intermittently and can fluctuate in volume. Tinnitus is considered a symptom and not a disease.

The direct cause of tinnitus is unknown; however, current research suggests it is a result of the brain’s reaction to a change within the auditory system. Tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss, with up to 85-90% of patients with hearing loss experiencing tinnitus. It can also occur as a result of impacted cerumen (ear wax), ear infections, exposure to loud sounds and as a side effect of certain medications. Tinnitus is also associated with other non-auditory conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, as well as head and neck injury.

Tinnitus that is the result of certain ear-related issues (including impacted ear wax and conductive hearing loss) will typically diminish once the underlying medical issue is resolved. There are a variety of ways to help better manage permanent tinnitus including sound therapy and counseling.

The certified tinnitus specialists at Hearing Evaluation Services are trained in various aspects of Sound Therapy and work with patients to develop an individualized tinnitus management program. Current management options include:

    • Traditional Hearing Devices
    • Masking Devices
    • Neuromonics™ Devices
    • Combination Devices
    • Counseling
    • Stress and Sleep Management

Presently, there are no medications or supplements that have been researched and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of tinnitus. There are a number of over-the-counter supplements marketed for tinnitus treatment, however, none have been scientifically proven to reduce or eliminate tinnitus. Medications for anxiety and depression can be used for patients with these conditions, which can be helpful in reducing stress related to the tinnitus. Patients should always consult with their physician before starting a new medication or supplement.