Why Do My Ears Ring?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no external noise is creating it. People most often describe tinnitus as ringing or a high-pitched tone, but it can manifest as various sounds, including buzzing, cicadas, hissing, swooshing, and more. The National Institute of Tinnitus reports that more than 25 million Americans experience tinnitus.


Several underlying causes contribute to tinnitus, but the simplest explanation is that the brain is accustomed to receiving 100% of sound. When the ears no longer transmit 100% of sound, the brain creates its own sound in the absence of it. Spoiler alert: silence is not your friend, my friend.


The first step in treating tinnitus is a full diagnostic hearing evaluation, which includes tinnitus matching. Determining if your tinnitus correlates with any other test results will help develop a successful treatment plan specific to you. The evaluation will also provide your audiologist with information to rule out the need for medical intervention or make referrals when necessary.


Treatment for tinnitus can be as simple as incorporating environmental modifications into your daily routine. If you have hearing loss, research confirms that using hearing aids is very likely to reduce the perceived severity of your tinnitus. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure for tinnitus.


The most important thing you can do to manage your tinnitus is to avoid joining online discussions and “support groups.” Instead, schedule an evaluation with a trusted audiologist. She will provide the tools and resources to live a fulfilling life with your tinnitus.


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