For some, tinnitus may suddenly appear and interrupt their life. For others, tinnitus may come and go and never come back again. No matter what type of tinnitus you have, it’s necessary to visit an audiologist in Omaha, NE to determine what the cause is and receive treatment. Here are some questions to ask your audiologist at your appointment and some questions they may ask you.
What to ask your audiologist in Omaha, NE, about tinnitus
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a ringing in one or both ears that only you can hear. It can also sound like clicking, humming, buzzing, whistling, hissing, roaring or chirping. There is subjective and objective tinnitus; subjective is when only you can hear the sound and objective is when your audiologist can hear the sound with special instruments. Tinnitus affects about 50 million Americans. Your audiologist can best explain tinnitus to you.
What is the cause of tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss that can be caused by an injury to the head or neck, exposure to loud noises, age, a problem with the circulatory system, high blood pressure, ototoxic drugs, stress, depression, Meniere’s disease or a tumor. You’ll want to ask your audiologist what may be causing your tinnitus so you can best know how to cope with it.
Injuries to your head and neck can affect your inner ear, hearing nerves and brain function, which may cause you to experience tinnitus. Being around loud noise levels that are damaging to our hearing can also be the culprit. This includes things like loud music and heavy machinery.
Will it go away or is treatment needed?
Some types of tinnitus are temporary and will go away over time. Other types that are caused by an underlying condition, such as those listed above, will go away after that issue is resolved. For example, if your tinnitus is caused by an ototoxic medication, you may notice the ringing in your ears subsides when you stop taking the medication.
What treatments are most effective?
There is no cure, but there are ways to help make tinnitus manageable. A wide range of treatments exists; even tinnitus as a result of loud music or other noise exposure can be treated.
Your audiologist might recommend a masking device (independent of or embedded in a hearing aid), for your tinnitus. Cognitive behavioral therapy has shown positive results. For tonal tinnitus, a notch filter may provide relief. Some people have more severe cases than others, making day-to-day life more difficult.
Questions your audiologist might ask you
To discover the cause of your tinnitus and what treatment will work best, your audiologist will ask you some questions. Be prepared and know how to answer these questions.
Have you been exposed to extremely loud noises like gunshots or explosives? If you’ve served in the military, you’re especially at risk of developing hearing loss.
Are you exposed to loud noises at your job? If you’re a construction worker around loud noises for 8 or more hours a day, you may experience hearing loss.
Have you experienced any injury to your head or neck? If you played contact sports or have been involved in a bad car accident you may have symptoms of hearing loss.
Do you take OTC medication?
What prescription drugs do you take?
Do you drink caffeine?
Do you smoke?
Are you stressed about anything?
Visit an audiologist in Omaha, NE
It’s best to seek treatment right away when experiencing tinnitus. We can recommend a treatment plan that caters to your lifestyle, whether it be hearing aids or wearing another form of ear protection. Contact us today to make an appointment and see what options are available.