How to Diagnose and Treat Tinnitus

Close up of hearing exam for Tinnitus at Fraser Valley Beltone Abbotsford

Tinnitus is a common hearing problem for adults wherein a ringing or unwanted noise is being heard by one or both ears. Sadly, there is yet a cure to be found for the condition.

While tinnitus cannot be fully reversed, it can be managed in order to ensure individuals can continue to live their lives with minimal impact. Those living with tinnitus need to consult with a physician or hearing care professionals to get the treatment or therapy needed.

 

How Is Tinnitus Diagnosed?

Upon having some hearing issues, your hearing care personnel will be interviewing you during the consultation. There will be many questions to help assess your case. The hearing care professional might also be asking for some medical history. Afterward, a visual inspection of your ear will be done, followed by some standard hearing tests.

 

Tinnitus-Specific Tests

Tinnitus can occasionally be medically diagnosed, but when it can’t be, it is known as sensorineural tinnitus. This is diagnosed when someone experiences sounds—often ringing noises—that cannot be associated with anything physical.

There are a few tests used to determine the extent of tinnitus: pitch match and loudness match are the most common, among others. A pitch match test is used to identify the approximate frequency of sound heard. A loudness match test, however, determines the intensity of sound heard, ranging from a whisper to a shout. A visual analog scale is also often used to assess perceived loudness, which can differ from actual loudness.

 

Common Tinnitus Treatment Options

There are a number of tinnitus treatment options depending on each individual’s unique case. Here are a few:

 

1 – Hearing aids

Beltone hearing aids at Fraser Valley Beltone in Abbotsford
Some tinnitus sufferers have experienced relief through hearing aids

If you lose your hearing while having the condition, you may opt to wear hearing aids to amplify the sounds you will hear and filter unwanted sounds. Fortunately, there are hearing aids today that can be operated through mobile apps that not only assist with hearing, but help sufferers learn some relaxation techniques to manage their condition.

 

2 – Noise-masking devices

A Marpac Dohm noise-cancelling machine
A Marpac Dohm noise-cancelling machine

People who suffer from tinnitus are often recommended to use a tinnitus masking or noise suppression device. These are worn like normal typical hearing aids but produce a constant signal to compete with your ears’ ringing noise. Tinnitus might worsen when the person is in a quiet area, so having a device with a background sound will help ignore the unnecessary ringing in your ears.

 

3 – Retraining therapy

One way to learn how to ignore the ringing noises experienced by those suffering from tinnitus is tinnitus retraining therapy. This treatment option brings in a classic psychological treatment method—cognitive behavioural therapy—and pairs it with a masking device to help sufferers ignore unwanted sounds.

 

4 – Medication

Tricyclic antidepressants, namely amitriptyline and nortriptyline, are two of the most commonly prescribed medications for tinnitus treatment. However, some claims show some of its side effects. It is crucial to let your doctor assess the condition to provide you with the right medication at the appropriate dosage.

 

Conclusion

Tinnitus is a condition that may impact your daily life’s activities. Receiving a diagnosis can be difficult and emotional. However, it is best not to panic and understand what you are going through to help yourself combat the symptoms. Getting help from professionals is best during this time and will support you while you acclimate to living with the condition.

If you are looking for a hearing clinic, come to Fraser Valley Beltone. We offer high-quality hearing aids and exceptional hearing tests. Get in touch with us today!

 

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