What’s ringing in my ears?

Man holding his ears

What is that ringing in my ears?

Tinnitus affects nearly 50 million people in the United States. It is not life threatening but it can be so severe in some people that they cannot function on a daily basis.

Tinnitus is hearing sounds where there are no actual external noises. Damage to the tiny hair cells in the cochlear cause electrical bursts of energy to send signals to the brain which is perceived as an audible sound. It can be described in many different ways, such as ringing, buzzing, hissing, and cricket sounds etc.

Do I have hearing loss?

Not everyone who has tinnitus has hearing loss. Many people are bothered more by their tinnitus than their hearing loss.

Managing tinnitus

Although there is no “cure” for tinnitus, there are ways to manage it. It is important to consult with an Audiologist and Otolaryngologist to rule out serious conditions that may be associated with tinnitus and to develop a tinnitus treatment plan. Such plans could include sound generators, tinnitus maskers, tinnitus habituators and relaxation exercises.

I find a combined approach works best for many of my patients. However, it is important to consult a specialist to derive the appropriate course of treatment for your individual needs.

– Dr. Donna Szabo
Director of Audiology