Friday, 24th March 2017
Occasional or permanent, weak or intense, tinnitus is perceived as a ringing or whistling in our ears. More or less tolerated by each person, they are – in all cases – parasitic noises that should be checked by a professional, who can evaluate their degree of intensity and thus find a suitable treatment for all types of tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be the result of certain disorders such as diabetes, otitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, otosclerosis, Ménière’s disease, or bite problems. It can be caused by a long-term medical treatment, a cerumen impaction, or a lesion on the sensory cells of the ear caused by exposure to excessively loud noises. It can be worsened or brought on by fever, vertigo, anxiety disorders, hearing loss, or hyperacusis, so it’s best to treat or care for it as quickly as possible. Here are the most effective solutions:
By performing a full examination of the ears, nose, and mouth of a patient, an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) will be able to determine the cause and detect the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing. Once the cause has been identified, if the tinnitus is the result of another disorder, this problem will be treated in order to reduce and eliminate the ringing in the ears. Consulting a doctor is therefore of the utmost importance, since these parasitic noises can sometimes be the sign of another more serious disorder.
In case of recent tinnitus, which should be treated as soon as possible because of the discomfort that it can cause the patient, an ENT can prescribe drug therapy using vasodilators. By dilating the blood vessels in the ear and thereby increasing blood flow, the drug substance allows the hearing cells to be repaired more quickly.
Much like a pacemaker, a neurostimulator provides electrical stimulation capable of stopping the pathological hyperactivity of the auditory cortex. Especially recommended in cases of permanent and acute tinnitus, daily treatment for about a week helps reduce abnormal auditory perception, then eliminates the tinnitus that has resisted other treatments. This technique is very flexible to use and doesn’t require any anaesthesia, nor does it cause any major adverse effects. Only mild, fleeting headaches were observed.
In cases of mild to severe hearing loss, a hearing aid can soothe and gradually eliminate the discomfort caused by the tinnitus. A sound generator and amplifier, it amplifies the sounds in the patient’s environment to reduce the contrast between the tinnitus and the ambient sounds and thus make the parasitic noise less perceptible. In addition to the amplifier, the generator also produces sounds (pink noise, white noise, etc.), some of which resemble the ocean, to create a sound therapy capable of relieving the resulting discomfort. Carefully set by an audioprosthesist and adjusted several times per year, it helps the ear and the brain become accustomed to the sound of the tinnitus and thus no longer hear it.
To prevent the appearance of tinnitus, earplugs are a solution that’s highly recommended for people with jobs involving risks of hearing damage. Whether you’re a musician or a worker in a noisy factory, they can help prevent the more serious risks such as hearing loss. Personalized, comfortable, and waterproof, they will be your best allies against tinnitus.In conclusion, it’s important to prevent the risks and to quickly consult a specialist if tinnitus appears in order to prevent the brain from memorizing the sound.
In addition, it’s of course essential to rest the hearing and not to amplify the tinnitus by avoiding overly loud noises and visiting noisy areas while waiting for the treatment to take effect.
* The hearing aids illustrated on this page may not fit your needs. An evaluation by an Audioprosthetist is required to determine the type of aid best suited for your type of hearing loss.