If you have ringing, hissing or roaring in your ears, you are not alone. Tinnitus is the experience of hearing a sound that isn’t being produced by something in your environment. It can be one sound, multiple sounds, high pitched or low pitched. For some, it is present 24/7, while for others it comes and goes. Tinnitus can be very bothersome for some people, but it is important to remember that it can be managed effectively!
Step 1: Have your hearing tested. Tinnitus can occur in those with normal hearing, but it is important to rule out hearing loss or a medical issue as contributing factors. If hearing loss is present, properly fit hearing aids are an important part of reducing your awareness of your tinnitus.
Step 2: Discuss your symptoms with your audiologist. Audiologist are the only hearing care professionals trained to treat tinnitus as a standalone health concern. Letting your audiologist know how your tinnitus is affecting you, your sleep or your concentration, can help guide you and your audiologist to a tinnitus management plan that will work for you.
Step 3: Use sound therapy. Quiet situations are often when tinnitus is most bothersome, especially at night when trying to go to sleep. Having another low-level sound present in the room, like a fan or quiet nature sounds, can help your brain focus away from the tinnitus, allowing you to fall asleep.
Over time, with proper counseling and treatment by an audiologist, your awareness of tinnitus can be reduced, and you can feel more able to manage your symptoms.