Tinnitus - Ringing or Buzzing in the Ears
Did you know that over 50 Million Americans are affected with ringing in the ears, called Tinnitus?
While perceived in the ear, Tinnitus actually occurs in the brain. Many people experience TINNITUS (TIN-a-tus or Tin-EYE-tus) as a ringing, buzzing, humming, whistling or ocean like sound. Although it is commonly described as 'ringing in the ears', the variety of sounds and combinations that people experience can range from bothersome to one that dramatically impacts their day-to-day lives.
In a dark room, the flame of a candle is very bright. It is the center of our attention because it is the brightest light in the room. Tinnitus is most noticeable when an individual is in quieter settings.
In a well lit room, the brightness of the candle decreases. The light from the candle is no longer the center of our focus because it is much less noticeable. Hearing aids act as the light and provide relief from tinnitus.
What causes tinnitus?
There are various causes for tinnitus, including exposure to loud sounds, earwax blockage and reaction to medications. Hair cells in the inner ear help transform sound waves into electrical signals that then travel to the brain. Experts suspect that tinnitus is the brain trying to adapt to a loss of hair cells in the inner ear. The brain misinterprets the reduced signals from the ear, resulting in a perception of sound (tinnitus).
What does tinnitus have to do with hearing loss?
It is important to know is that tinnitus is not a condition or disease. It is a symptom that is most commonly associated with hearing loss. Tinnitus and hearing loss are intimately related and because the two go hand in hand, it is important to understand their relationship and how each impacts the management and treatment of the other.
An estimated 90% of those affected by tinnitus experience some degree of hearing loss.
What should I do if I suspect I have tinnitus?
If you suspect you may have tinnitus, the first step is to meet with one of our audiologists. Make an appointment for a complete evaluation of your ears and hearing. The goal of this appointment should be for you to understand your ears and hearing and to learn how you can manage your tinnitus.
What is the Levo System?
Utilizing an FDA-cleared neuroscience-based approach, the Levo System is a personal and patented nightly sound therapy. Through a series of interactive activities, the precise sound of your tinnitus will be identified. Your unique sound is then used to create an individualized therapy for you to use at home while you sleep.
User-friendly, patented Levo software on a provided Apple iPod Touch will allow you to listen to your personalized sound match at home. Custom fit ear buds, designed to ensure comfort during sleep, allow for optimal positioning and controlled delivery of sound therapy. By using the Levo System at night, you will be able to help the brain's natural ability to diminish the effects of tinnitus over time.