Tinnitus Treatment Options

Tinnitus is the term used to describe the condition of perceiving a ringing, buzzing or whooshing noise in the absence of an external sound source. This is typically only experienced by the person with tinnitus and has a variety of different causes.

Treating the cause

Tinnitus can be caused by many things, and is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. The treatment for your particular tinnitus will depend on the condition that is causing it, the severity, any accompanying issues such as hearing loss, and the impact the tinnitus has on daily activities.

Common causes of tinnitus include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Earwax buildup or blockages
  • Abnormal bone growth in the ear
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Benign tumor of the cranial nerve
  • Medication
  • Aging
  • Vascular disorders
  • Stress or depression

In order to find out the root cause of your tinnitus, your hearing specialist will conduct a complete medical history, as well as a complete examination.

What treatments are available?

The effect of tinnitus can be dramatic, causing a disruption with your work life, social life, and even your ability to rest and relax.  At Audiology & Hearing Center of Tampa, we offer innovative and FDA-approved tinnitus treatment.  Many of our patients report life changing results with our approach for tinnitus treatment. 

 Treatment may include:

  • Hearing devices. These devices can provide improvement in hearing as well as masking the tinnitus.  Most patients find complete or partial relief from their tinnitus with the use of hearing devices.
  • Maskers.  These devices, worn similar to hearing aids, produce a continuous low level white noise that suppresses tinnitus.  Most effective when used with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.
  • White noise machines.  These devices produce simulated environmental sounds, such as rain forest or ocean waves, to cover up the tinnitus.  Many patients also use fans or radios to help them fall asleep or get better rest.
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy.  A form of habituation therapy designed to help people who experience tinnitus, or other sound in the ears when no external sound is present. TRT includes directive counseling aimed at reclassification of tinnitus to a category of neutral signals, and sound therapy which is aimed at weakening tinnitus related neuronal activity.

If you are suffering from tinnitus, schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our audiologists.  We would be glad to provide a more detailed and personalized evaluation for your situation. 

Misophonia Treatment Options

Misophonia is a severe sensitivity to specific sounds.  It’s often an oral sound that someone makes when they eat, chew, yawn, breath, yawn, or whistle.  These sounds are often labeled as the “trigger” sounds. When a person suffering from misophona hears the sounds, the person has a very strong emotional reaction such as anger, anxiety, hate, rage, disgust, and resentment.  

 A person experiencing misophonia usually has normal hearing.  It is not a sensitivity to the loudness of sound, but an emotional and physiological reaction to the specific sounds.  It may cause the sufferer to avoid restaurants or eat separately from their spouse, family, or roommates.  In worse situations, one could act on how he or she feels, like attacking the person who is making the sound, physically or verbally.  

What causes Misophonia?

 There is no known cause for misophonia.  Researchers believe that it could be related to how sound affects the brain and triggers automatic responses in the body.  This condition is more common in female, and its onset is quick, but not related to any one event. 

How can an Audiologist Help?

An audiologist will evaluate the effect of the misophonia with the use of the misophonia history questionnaire and the misophonia assessment questionnaire.  He or she may prescribe hearing devices that also have a sound generator.  Many who suffer from misophonia find relief with the sound generator when the sound is programmed appropriately.  These devices are small and discreet, and are barely noticeable.