If you regularly experience a ringing in your ears, is that tinnitus? The answer is probably yes. Many people suffer from ringing, buzzing or whistling sounds in the ears, and aren’t sure if they have this debilitating condition. They are equally concerned about how they can get rid of it since it usually erodes the quality of life. Let’s look at the definition of tinnitus, how you can be sure you have it, and steps for eliminating it.
WebMD.com describes tinnitus as “the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling or other sounds in the ears. The noise can be intermittent or continuous, and can vary in loudness. It is often worse when background noise is low, so you may be most aware of it at night when you’re trying to fall asleep in a quiet room. In rare cases, the sound beats in sync with your heart.”
Experts agree that tinnitus is not a disease; rather it is a disorder, or symptom where the body is trying to alert us to a deeper problem. It might comfort you to know that tinnitus is very common, affecting an estimated 50 million adults in the United. While a large number of cases are mild or only occur occasionally, about 12 million people seek medical help for severe, chronic tinnitus every year.
So if I have tinnitus, now what? Since you probably have tinnitus, the next logical question is what to do about it. Well before we go there, it is important to get a proper diagnosis, since your tinnitus may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as Swimmer’s Ear or Meniere’s disease. If so, you could be treated quickly and take care of your tinnitus problem at the same time.
In other instances tinnitus may be caused by a variety of lifestyle-oriented issues, which we’ll discuss in a moment. In either case, you need to be diagnosed by a medical specialist such as an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, who can then help you with selecting treatment. If you are in a PPO be sure to see your general practitioner first and ask him or her for a referral to the specialist.
When you go to the ENT specialist you should expect the following:
- An in-depth interview and family health history
- A complete physical exam
- A thorough exam of the ears, nose and throat
- A detailed set of hearing tests
- A series of tests for tinnitus
- Diagnostics tests such as X-Rays, tinnitus pitch and loudness tests
Once the tests are complete the specialist will confirm whether you have tinnitus which is highly probable. Equally important, he will let you know if it was caused by any underlying medical issue. For example, if you have Swimmer’s Ear, you may be given antibiotics, your condition should clear up quickly, and your temporary tinnitus disappears!
In the event that you are diagnosed with tinnitus that has no obvious medical causes, your doctor may try to identify potential lifestyle causes, such as food allergies, stress or reactions to medications. If the doctor has a holistic approach, he may help you figure out the cause or causes, and to offer homeopathic remedies such as herbs, vitamins, stress reduction and such.
The challenge here is that much of the time tinnitus is caused by a couple of lifestyle factors, and traditional medical professionals simply don’t have the time to help you narrow down your particular causes. While they are excellent for diagnosing conditions, unfortunately, once a diagnosis is made that’s where they end up prescribing treatments that may not best serve you. One such popular treatment is surgery, which often only brings temporary relief. Drugs are another popular option, which have a long list of side effects and sometimes only make the tinnitus worse. Many times, left with no other options your doctor may simply advise you that you will have to live with your symptoms.
These limiting options can be devastating. If you or someone you know suffers with tinnitus you know how difficult and painful it is, and how it can be destructive to the quality of your life! More than just ringing in the ears, tinnitus can often cause non-stop noises in the head, bringing sufferers to the brink of insanity and even destroying family and business relationships. This is not something you want to live with on a long term basis! A good alternative here is to partner with a naturopathic or holistic professional to help you in finding a cure for your tinnitus, or you can simply commit to finding your own natural remedies by following one of the excellent tinnitus remedy guides available.
We highly recommend that you read up on tinnitus so that you are in charge of your health and you can find a cure for the dreaded “ringing in the ears”. Being informed saves you time, money and unneeded suffering because you are making more informed choices. Take a look at our Tinnitus Treatment Reviews, where we do the homework for you to help you can decide which product will help to feel better right away.