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Tinnitus


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Tinnitus is “hearing” sounds in your ears or in your head when those sounds are not being produced by another source. These sounds are often described as ringing, hissing, buzzing, humming, whistling, whooshing, clicking, or pulsing. Frequently, these are noises only you can hear but, in some cases, the tinnitus can also be heard by others.

Tinnitus can result from many different occurrences and conditions, such as damage to the inner ear from noise exposure or medications. Tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss. While there is no known cure, there are many successful treatment options such as medication management, hearing aids, tinnitus masking/habituation devices, and behavioral, sound, and cognitive therapies. Audiologists can assist you in determining which option is best for you and your situation.



The symptoms of tinnitus are:


  • Persistent noises in the ears or head.

Please note that it is not abnormal to occasionally experience tinnitus. Tinnitus should be evaluated when it is persistent, occurs suddenly and does not diminish or when it occurs in only one ear or one side of the head.


If you believe you, a family member or friend is experiencing tinnitus, here are some steps to consider:


  • Have your hearing tested and tinnitus assessed by an audiologist.
    This testing is covered by Medicare, if ordered by your physician, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.
  • Discuss the tinnitus with your physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant at your next visit and ask if any of your medications, medical conditions or underlying health could be creating or increasing the tinnitus.
    Your healthcare provider can then refer you for testing with an audiologist.
  • Complete a Tinnitus Handicap Inventory or Tinnitus Thermometer. If you score the inventory and find a handicap or denote a significant impact on the thermometer, discuss these results with an audiologist or your healthcare provider.

Resources related to tinnitus disorders:



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