Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is very common and is noise heard in the head or ears. Even though this affects many individuals, tinnitus can be more annoying to some and described as low pitched, high pitched, noticeable, pulsatile or steady. Some people will report subjective tinnitus (only heard by the person) while others report objective tinnitus (heard by others as well).
The Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center has a program to treat patients who suffer from tinnitus, the annoying and sometimes disabling noises (e.g., ringing, buzzing, roaring) that occur within the ear. We have audiologists who are trained and certified in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT).
The TRT is an innovative and highly successful program for helping individuals who have tinnitus and related conditions, such as over-sensitivity to sounds and negative emotional reactions to certain sounds. TRT has been utilized in the United States since 1990 with a success rate of over 80% of the patients. Treatment can be expected to last approximately 18 months.
Hyperacusis is a decreased tolerance to sounds. In some cases the sounds will be unpleasantly loud and/or painful. Hyperacusis can occur with tinnitus or alone. Research shows that this condition may be associated with areas in the brain that are associated with the ear.
About Tinnitus and Hyperacusis
- Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss.
- Tinnitus is common in people with hearing loss, however, not all people with hearing loss will develop tinnitus.
- A medical evaluation is very important prior to treatment for tinnitus. This will help to rule out any causes that may be treated medically.
- Common descriptors of tinnitus include: ringing, roaring, buzzing, whistling, crickets or humming sounds.
- Earplugs may be worn by some with hyperacusis, however prolonged wear can make the hyperacusis worse.