Posts for tag: tinnitus
Are you dealing with ringing in the ears? Find out what it might be.
The CDC predicts that over 50 million Americans suffer from some form of tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. If you’ve been dealing with this issue it’s not something you should just ignore. While this problem may just be a minor annoyance for some it can also greatly impact a person’s quality of life. From the office of our Austin, TX, audiologists Dr. Paige Peterson and Dr. Taryn Shelton and our balance physical therapist Dr. Collette Rhoden, learn more about this condition, what can cause it and when you should come in for a further evaluation.
What causes tinnitus?
The most common cause of tinnitus is long-term exposure to loud noises. You might be surprised to know that many sounds that we wouldn’t exactly deem loud or damaging to our ears actually are. In fact, the majority of those with tinnitus have some degree of noise-induced hearing loss. As you might imagine, there are certain professions that can put you at risk for developing tinnitus. Some of those professions include:
- Construction workers
- Military personnel
Even a single exposure to a very loud noise could be enough to produce tinnitus. Besides loud noises, other causes of tinnitus include:
- An ear infection or blockage
- Certain medications (e.g. antibiotics; antidepressants; aspirin)
- Meniere’s disease
- Some medical conditions (e.g. high blood pressure; anemia; allergies)
- TMJ disorder
- Head or neck injuries
Sometimes certain habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking or consuming caffeine can also bring on a bout of tinnitus. If you have tinnitus you may also notice that your symptoms get worse when you are tired or under stress.
How is tinnitus treated?
How our Austin hearing specialists decide to proceed with your treatment plan will depend entirely on the cause of your tinnitus. For example, if a medical condition such as high blood pressure or anemia is to blame then you will want to work with a doctor to get your condition properly managed with lifestyle changes and medication. Some medications such as anti-anxiety medication have also been known to reduce tinnitus symptoms.
If tinnitus is caused by loud-noise exposure, then you may be given a tinnitus masker, which looks similar to a hearing aid. This device will emit an ambient sound to mask the ringing in your ears. Sometimes tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is also recommended. This therapy is extremely effective but can take anywhere from 1-2 years to complete.
If you are dealing with ringing in the ears and living in Austin, TX, it’s important to have your hearing evaluated by one of our specialists as soon as possible. Call Hearing & Balance Center of Austin today to schedule a consultation with us.
Protection is Important!
To your ears, that is. Did you know that a sound as loud as a blow dryer or blender can cause hearing loss and damage to your ears? Fun (or not so fun) fact for your Thursday.
Tips for protecting your hearing:
- Wear hearing protection when around sounds louder than 85 dB for a long period of time.
- There are different types of hearing protection such as foam earplugs, earmuffs and custom hearing protection devices.
- 85dB is about the sound of your hair dryer, lawn mower, blender or vacuum cleaner!
- Contact your local audiologist for custom hearing protection devices.
- Turning down the volume when listening to the radio, the TV, MP3 player, or anything through earbuds and headphones. (Visit www.TurnItToTheLeft.com)
- Walking away from the noise.
- And, other than hearing protection, do not put anything in your ear!
Contact your local audiologist for additional expertise on protecting your hearing and preventing noise induced hearing loss!
*Data provided by the American Academy of Audiology
Sabrina Marciante, AuD
May is Better Hearing Month!
While we can’t make our hearing “better,” we can better protect ourselves from dangerous noise levels we experience daily. We don’t think of our hair dryer or blender as being causes of noise-induced hearing loss or tinnitus (that dreaded sound in your ears), but they absolutely can be.
Noise-induced hearing loss can occur if you’re exposed to sounds over the level of 85dB HL for an extended period of time. Let’s see how some common sounds stack up:
60 dB—Normal conversations or dishwashers
80 dB—Alarm clocks
90 dB—Hair dryers, blenders, and lawnmowers
100 dB—MP3 players at full volume
110 dB—Concerts, car racing, and sporting events
120 dB—Jet planes at take off
130 dB—Ambulances and fire engine sirens
140 dB—Gun shots, fireworks, and custom car stereos at full volume
You can see how we are exposed to a variety of dangerously loud sounds daily without even thinking about it. Let’s keep those iPhone and MP3 players on low, and keep our hearing health up!
*Data provided by the American Academy of Audiology http://www.audiology.org/publications-resources/consumer-information/fact-sheets
The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin specializes in hearing related disorders including tinnitus and hearing loss, neurophysiological disorders as well as dizziness/balance disorders. Currently accepting new adult and pediatric audiology patients. The Hearing & Balance Center of Austin is the hearing and balance division of Great Hills ENT and serves the greater Austin area including the Arboretum, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, hearing aids, tinnitus, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders