Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ear(s) when no sound is physically present or audible to the examiner. The condition affects millions of Americans each year. The noise can be described as a ringing, buzzing, whooshing, or crackling sound and can take on different qualities to each patient. Sometimes, there is no identifiable underlying cause — called Benign Essential Tinnitus – but in most situations, an underlying disorder is identified after a thorough medical and audiological exam.
The exact cause and cure is not available today. We know most patients complaining of ear ringing have an underlying hearing loss. There are a variety of conditions that can worsen symptoms including: acute or chronic noise exposure; stress; psychiatric disorders; fatigue; certain medications; and diets high in salt, caffeine and nicotine.
Some types of tinnitus respond to surgical intervention, while others may require medical evaluation and treatment. Although there are many advertised over-the-counter medications (allopathic and osteopathic) available, most of them are placebos. We recommend a thorough audiological evaluation. Our doctors specialize in tinnitus treatments and can discuss possible causes, treatment options and the psychological impact of the disorder.
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