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Tinnitus Treatment

Are You In Need of Help With Tinnitus?

Stop the ringing in your ears with a technique backed by science. Tinnitus is an auditory disorder that affects nearly 50 million Americans. If you experience foreign noises like hissing, buzzing, chirping or whistling - you probably have tinnitus! The sounds of tinnitus can be triggered by ear injury, such as noise damage or certain medications. The noise in your ears may feel worse in extreme quiet or extreme noise. Tinnitus can lead to stress headaches and sleep problems among many negative symptoms. With our Tinnitus Therapy, you will learn how to control your tinnitus with evidence-based scientific methods designed specifically for this condition. Don't lose hope for lasting relief over your tinnitus!

Frequently Asked Questions about Tinnitus, explained by Dr. Hadassah Kupfer:

1. Is my tinnitus permanent or temporary? Tinnitus can increase gradually over time, or it can occur suddenly. Tinnitus over time can come from continuous exposure to noise, such as from a job like construction or the music/entertainment industry. Sudden tinnitus can occur from extreme stress, sickness or an injury (including a noise injury such as an explosion). A complete hearing exam performed by an audiologist will shed light on whether your tinnitus may be temporary or permanent. The tests we perform include otoscopy, tympanometry, otoacoustic emissions testing, audiometry (audiogram graph), speech recognition testing, speech-in-noise testing and pitch/loudness matching of tinnitus.

2. Will my tinnitus go away? If we discover a temporary cause for your tinnitus, such as wax impaction, then removal of the wax should get rid of your tinnitus. If we determine that your tinnitus is a symptom of a permanent hearing loss, then your tinnitus is likely permanent. However, there are evidence-based practices that we follow for providing relief so that the tinnitus becomes less apparent and non-bothersome to you.

3. Why do I notice the tinnitus at night or when reading? Tinnitus is a sign of hearing loss. Normally, the brain is accustomed to hearing all different sounds like on a piano. When a person's hearing changes, some of the "keys" on their piano may get stuck... even just slightly where they don't notice any disruption to their hearing abilities. However, the brain notices this void and creates its own wacky version of the key to fill in the gap. This is the tinnitus. (On the test, we can almost always demonstrate how the pitch of your perceived tinnitus corresponds to a deficit in your hearing at that same pitch.) During the day, your brain will have plenty of surround sound to use to fill in this gap, so it is occupied and content - and you may not notice the tinnitus. At night, when it is quiet, there are no other sounds to utilize, so the gap in your hearing is highlighted and the brain therefore produces the tinnitus. It is the same explanation of why you may notice your tinnitus while trying to read in the quiet.

4. I don't have a hearing problem. Why do I have tinnitus? Sometimes, the better your hearing is, the more of a contrast that the brain notices when a certain pitch is even slightly damaged and the MORE likely you are to experience tinnitus. Certain anxious personality types may also be more likely to experience tinnitus, as their body remains in the "fight-or-flight" state. You may have TMJ or some other nerve injury that is compressing on the hearing nerve slightly and causing that interference to the hearing pathway. A complete audiological evaluation will help identify the underlying cause of your tinnitus, to provide the right type of solution.

 5. Should I see an audiologist or ENT for tinnitus? Audiologists are uniquely qualified to check your hearing for signs of tinnitus, and to treat lasting hearing disorders. Only a hearing test can objectively measure your tinnitus, and this service is performed by audiologists rather than ENTs. Since tinnitus is an "invisible" disorder and ENTs typically address physical medical conditions or surgeries to the ear, even an ENT will usually refer you to an audiologist. If there is a physical cause for your tinnitus which can be seen in the ear, an audiologist will likewise refer you back to the ENT. If you have red flag signs for acoustic neuroma or other more serious reasons for tinnitus, an ENT must also be consulted with for proper diagnosis of the root cause for your tinnitus (often done through imaging). However, the lasting symptom of tinnitus is rehabilitated by the audiologist. Many people have experienced significant distress being told by well-meaning physicians who cannot help them, that there is nothing to be done for tinnitus. There is not enough awareness about audiologists treating tinnitus (and not all audiologists specialize in this area as we do), but there is plenty of support available and therapies backed by science to provide relief for your condition. We understand how devastating tinnitus can be. Call our office at 917-791-1510 to schedule a consultation for your tinnitus and we can get you back on the path to normalcy.

6. Is a brain tumor causing my tinnitus? Dr. Google has scared many many tinnitus sufferers with this one. Please do not panic if you have tinnitus and start reading about this condition. Acoustic neuromas are extremely rare and are usually not the reason for your tinnitus. The usual explanation for tinnitus is an undiagnosed hearing loss, which is a chronic but benign condition. The most concerning tinnitus would be: tinnitus in only one ear, accompanied by vertigo, accompanied by hearing loss, and accompanied by other neurologic symptoms (headaches, vision disturbance). If you do have tinnitus in only one of your ears, you should expect to see an ENT as well as an audiologist.

 7. What medication do doctors prescribe for tinnitus? Since the usual cause of tinnitus is cochlear damage, aka HEARING LOSS, there is unfortunately no cure or medicine for tinnitus. The remedy is therapeutic: by addressing your hearing loss, even if slight, we satisfy the brain and undo its habit of producing tinnitus. If your hearing test reveals that your tinnitus is due to middle ear infection, then of course antibiotics will help to cure the infection and in turn, the tinnitus. If your tinnitus consultation reveals a sleep deprivation, anxiety or dietary component to your tinnitus, then addressing these specific areas, possibly through medicine, could indirectly help. There is no scientific evidence to support blanket tinnitus medications that are sold online. These medications can be costly and only offer placebo effects. As mentioned before, you can only understand the root cause of your tinnitus by being evaluated by a professional audiologist near you.

8. What happens if tinnitus goes untreated? Tinnitus is usually a harmless condition, which will only become a problem if it starts interfering with ones routine or emotional state. Depending on how severe the sound is, and how frequently someone hears this sound, they will feel unbothered or majorly disturbed by it. Some people are so upset by their tinnitus that it causes them to withdraw from social environments, resulting in depression and even suicide attempts. If you know someone struggling with tinnitus, please have them speak to an audiologist because there is almost always an answer.

9. What is the simple trick to stop tinnitus? Sometimes tinnitus is completely out of your control, but sometimes prevention is the best cure. Be mindful of the noise around you and how you treat your ears! And be careful with your caffeine, salt and smoking habits.

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