Questions You Should Ask About Tinnitus
Have you perceived any ringing or buzzing sounds that only you can hear? How often do you experience this? This is often described as tinnitus, which happens to be a symptom of an underlying condition and not an actual disease by itself.
Before making an appointment to see an audiologist, you should first prepare by planning your questions. In the event that you're experiencing tinnitus, it’s advisable to educate yourself with all the relevant information. Here are a few questions you might find worthwhile to ask your audiologist.
What causes tinnitus?
In several cases, tinnitus is spontaneous and can be acute or chronic. Over the years, audiologists concluded that regular exposure to loud noise is a common cause. Although medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs have been found to increase a person’s chance of developing tinnitus, there are more causes. For example, certain cancer drugs and diuretics contribute to developing these symptoms.
Fortunately, once you realize that tinnitus results from these drugs, the physician can reduce the dosage or change it entirely. Sometimes, medical conditions such as high blood pressure or a long history of arthritis can lead to ringing ears. However, when a build-up of earwax causes tinnitus, there’s a great chance of it disappearing altogether when the wax is removed.
Is a hearing test necessary when you have tinnitus?
Absolutely! Remember that tinnitus is only an indicator of an underlying issue, which could very well be a case of mild hearing loss. The sooner your audiologist diagnoses a hearing loss, the better your chances of stopping or minimizing its progression. Besides, when the audiologist diagnoses you as having early-stage hearing loss, they’ll set specific processes in motion.
For example, they’ll recommend hearing aids to reduce or take attention away from the phantom sound perception. These are hearing aids with masking features you’ll find hugely beneficial if you need to wear one. The devices work by creating a distraction, thereby making the non-existent sound perception less intrusive. More so, it’s a great way to improve your quality of life. Remember that tinnitus is not a sure sign that you have hearing loss.
Is it curable?
First of all, depending on what the underlying cause is, tinnitus can disappear entirely. For example, suppose it was caused by earwax accumulation; you can say goodbye to tinnitus when your audiologist cleans it out. On the other hand, if the issue has to do with hearing loss, a hearing device with masking features can minimize the symptoms.
In essence, the particular cause determines how long tinnitus stays. In terms of a cure, no known remedy resolves tinnitus for good. It can go away on its own or last for months and even up to a year. However, the longer you have it, the more likely the chance is that it’s permanent.
Hopefully, these few questions have answered some of your innermost thoughts about tinnitus. Remember that you’re better off asking questions to resolve misconceptions and your fears.