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Do you suffer from ringing in the ears? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, there are about 50 million others in the U.S. who know what you’re going through. Of those 50 million, about 16 million report it to be severe enough to seek medical attention and about two million are so seriously debilitated by their tinnitus that they cannot function on a “normal,” day-to-day basis. This condition is known as Tinnitus (pronounced TIN-it-us”, or “tin-NITE-us). The sounds it produces for you may not be ringing at all, but buzzing, humming, clicking, hissing, roaring – or any other sound that does not have an outside source.

What causes it?

There has been much written about the causes, and as noted in this page of the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/dxc-20180362), it can be associated with many types of health disorders, medications, auditory or head injuries, and more.

Is there a cure?

No, but that doesn’t mean it’s permanent. For some, it goes away when the underlying cause is addressed. Notice how well this is further explained by the Mayo Clinic here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20180394. For most people, it’s treatment includes learning to live with it in a way that prevents it from interfering with your life. As noted in the opening paragraph, as many as two million people find that they cannot.

Will hearing aids help?

If you have a hearing loss, and that is contributing to the tinnitus – yes. By providing compensation for that loss, hearing aids have helped some people. More often than not, though, today’s hearing aids provide Sound Therapy to help sufferers cope with tinnitus. This is done by diminishing the impact of the tinnitus on the wearer with a variety of background sounds at just the right frequency and volume so as to mask the sound of the tinnitus. This is similar to running a fan or sound machine in the room when trying to fall asleep. The sounds doesn’t disappear, but it becomes inconsequential when the ambient noise overshadows it.

Almost all hearing aid manufacturers have this programming feature built into many of their hearing devices, and the hearing care professional who fits you with those is able to customize that program in a way that will work best for you.

For a hearing care professional near you who can explain whether you suffer from hearing loss that may be contributing to your tinnitus, please click here.