Tinnitus is an auditory symptom causing a ringing or buzzing in the ear. Because tinnitus causes an internal ringing that cannot be heard by an outside observer, you may find it challenging to decide when it’s time to seek help from an auditory specialist.
Let’s take a look at a few signs it’s time to seek help for your tinnitus and a few symptom management options.
Signs It’s Time To Seek Help for Your Tinnitus
A few signs it’s time to seek help for your tinnitus include:
- Ringing lasts longer than a week. Some people may experience tinnitus for only five minutes, while others may live with the constant presence of ringing. Short-term tinnitus is not always a cause for concern and may only be a symptom of temporary conditions. For instance, tinnitus symptoms are common after a temporary threshold shift (a temporary shift in hearing following exposure to loud noise). A good rule of thumb for persistent tinnitus is to seek help if your symptoms last longer than a week.
- Symptoms are severe. Tinnitus is generally classified as bothersome or nonbothersome. Nonbothersome tinnitus ringing is mild and infrequent, while bothersome cases are loud, disruptive and frequent. If your tinnitus interrupts your sleep or prevents you from enjoying your favorite beverage from Victory Coffee, seek help as soon as possible to lessen its adverse impact on your life.
- Tinnitus is accompanied by other symptoms. Tinnitus is usually a symptom of an underlying condition such as hearing loss, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, ear injuries, ototoxic medication (medication that causes damage to the hearing mechanisms of the ear) and more. If you are experiencing signs of one or more of these underlying conditions, seek help from your audiologist immediately. Your audiologist may conduct hearing or other tests to identify the underlying cause of your tinnitus and begin defining your symptom management path.
What Are Your Tinnitus Management Options?
If your tinnitus has an external source, your provider will likely start symptom management by addressing the underlying cause. This may include options like seeing a dentist to treat TMJ or finding alternatives to ototoxic medication where possible. If the underlying cause does not have a cure, your provider will likely focus on symptom management.
Tinnitus management techniques may include sound masking, therapy, trigger avoidance or any combination of the three. Hearing aids are one excellent sound masking option. Not only do the small devices amplify speech sounds for clearer communication with hearing loss, but many come equipped with tinnitus masking features to help minimize the severity of your symptoms.
Contact Kampsen Hearing today to begin managing your tinnitus symptoms with the help of a qualified specialist.