At this time, there is no cure for tinnitus. Since there is no cure for the condition, many people leave their tinnitus untreated. This choice is not recommended, as there can be a variety of negative side effects when tinnitus goes untreated.
Our hearing instrument specialist here at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming has counseled many people concerning their hearing needs, such as tinnitus management. If you have been struggling with tinnitus and aren’t sure if you need treatment, you may want to consider the potential consequences of leaving your tinnitus untreated.
Hearing Loss Can Be Masked By Untreated Tinnitus
One of the significant issues with untreated tinnitus is that the condition can mask that you also are suffering from hearing loss. As people are told that their tinnitus can’t be fixed, they don’t go in to have their hearing checked by a hearing health care professional like our specialist. Yet, in many cases, tinnitus is linked to hearing loss.
In fact, research has pointed out that tinnitus can be a natural result of the loss of sound input. So, if your hearing becomes damaged, your brain makes up for the lack of sound it receives via outside sources by tuning into the ever-present sound of tinnitus. Normally, the brain will file this sound away, and you will never notice it, but hearing loss can bring tinnitus to the forefront.
Even when a person doesn’t have hearing loss with their tinnitus, medical professionals have posited that a certain amount of inner ear damage has occurred to trigger the tinnitus, just not enough to cause hearing loss yet. However, you should consider tinnitus a warning that you were exposed to loud, hearing-damaging noise and need to take more care.
Untreated Tinnitus Can Lead To A Variety Of Health Issues
Along with hearing loss, there are other health issues that can be experienced if tinnitus is left untreated. Some of the most common are:
- Depression and anxiety – The inescapable sound of tinnitus can cause people to suffer from depression and anxiety. Not only are these mental health issues caused by hearing tinnitus. As tinnitus is processed partially by the amygdala, it triggers heightened levels of fight or flight, which is stressful to have constantly flooding your brain.
- High levels of stress – As part of the cycle, the higher your stress levels, the more the stress triggers your tinnitus. Also, stress can contribute to a number of health complications, such as increased cardiovascular problems.
- Fatigue – Tinnitus can interfere with your ability to sleep at night, as that is often when you will be in complete silence and tinnitus will be at its loudest. This lack of sleep can lead to ongoing fatigue.
- Memory issues – With sleep problems, high stress, and potentially anxiety and depression, it is not surprising that another side effect of tinnitus is memory issues.
- Difficulty with concentration – Even discounting the fatigue triggered by tinnitus, having constant tinnitus can make it difficult to concentrate on other tasks, particularly if those tasks require close listening.
While there are many health issues which can be triggered by untreated by tinnitus, these problems can be resolved when you take steps to treat your tinnitus.
Ways To Treat Your Tinnitus At Modern Hearing Solutions Of Wyoming
Just because there is no cure for tinnitus doesn’t mean there aren’t highly effective ways to treat and manage your tinnitus. Our hearing instrument specialist can offer a number of ways you can get your tinnitus under control, such as:
Diagnostic hearing exam – As we mentioned earlier, hearing loss is a common condition that occurs with tinnitus. To ensure that you don’t have hearing loss as well as tinnitus and to gauge how much your tinnitus interferes with your ability to hear, you can undergo a diagnostic hearing exam.
Hearing aids – Even without hearing loss present, you can use hearing aids to manage your tinnitus. Many modern hearing aids come with tinnitus management technology, so you can use them as portable sound generators to protect you from a barrage of tinnitus.
Tinnitus retraining therapy – To help your brain relearn to hear and file away the sound of tinnitus, you can do tinnitus retraining therapy. Exposing you to tinnitus-like sounds, your brain eventually learns to pay less conscious attention to your tinnitus.
Hearing protection – Some people with tinnitus make the mistake of believing that since they already have tinnitus, they don’t need to protect their hearing. But, further hearing loss can lead tinnitus to become worse. So, hearing protection is recommended. Depending on your activities, our hearing specialist can recommend different types of hearing protection.
If you would like to work with our hearing specialist to treat and manage your tinnitus, contact us for an appointment today.