Tinnitus is the perception of sound when there is no external sound present. People often describe tinnitus as buzzing, crickets chirping, cicadas. I had one lady that it was monks chanting. There is real neural activity going on in your brain that you hear as your tinnitus. It can be one-sided, so one ear, both ears, or it can be in the head.
Tinnitus is usually a symptom of some sort of untreated hearing loss. So noise-induced hearing loss, certain medications, it’s part of the natural aging process.
There are certain types of inner ear diseases that can cause different types of tinnitus. So, it’s always good that if you do have tinnitus you should have a hearing evaluation. You can come here at Concept. We do have a wide-range of hearing aids that will help with the tinnitus. A majority of them are going to have what’s called a Tinnitus Sound Generator built into them. That’s where we put in nature sounds, or a masking noise, if you have an Android or an Apple, you have that capability to change what frequency it’s at and how loud you want it to be. But what we like to do is kind of re-train your brain—so put a little bit of that masking noise in there to distract you but not completely take away everything because we also want you to hear those sounds that you’re missing.
The Relief App is where you can adjust those sounds and you can stream that directly to both of your hearing aids to help with that tinnitus. It’s also something that a lot of people will use at night because you don’t have to have hearing aids to use that part of it. And that’s usually what people want, they want some sort of way to distract them self from those sounds to be able to go to sleep because the one thing is, is that tinnitus is not curable so once you take your hearing aids out at night then that hearing is going to come back.
Tinnitus is always going to be changing. So having that control gives patients a lot of control over their tinnitus.
They used to say that at 65 and older that you should get your hearing screened. Now they say anyone should get their hearing screened. No time is a bad time to get a baseline—see where your hearing loss is at. Then we know where you started and if anything were to happen we can watch that hearing loss progress.
We do have a free hearing evaluation here and it’s a lifetime of care. So we can see you as many times as we need to.