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Statistics on
Hearing Loss

from NIDCD. Click here to visit NIDCD

Of adults ages 65 and older in the United States, 12.3 percent of men and nearly 14 percent of women are affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is identified more frequently in white individuals and the prevalence of tinnitus is almost twice as frequent in the South as in the Northeast.

Roughly 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus.

Tinnitus Questionnaires
Feel free to download and take the following questionnaires: Tinnitus Handicap Inventory

Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

Tinnitus is a condition where a person hears sounds that do not originate from and outside source. It has been estimated that 25 million people have experienced tinnitus at some point in their life and that 2 million people have severe, debilitating tinnitus. A significant portion of U.S. soldiers are currently returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with tinnitus because of exposure to sudden, extremely loud sounds.

Tinnitus may take many forms. These may include:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Pulsing
  • Chirping
  • Roaring
  • Hissing
  • Whistling
  • Clicking
Tinnitus varies widely in loudness for different people. Some people only hear their tinnitus occasionally and can tune it out most of the time. Usually, those people do not need help for their tinnitus. Other people are kept awake at night, cannot concentrate on tasks during the day, and/or have their family and social lives disrupted by tinnitus. It is this group of people that need help.

Tinnitus may be caused by a variety of things. The first appointment to discuss your tinnitus will include a thorough discussion of your medical, occupational, and recreational history, any medications your are taking, and other things that may help to determine the cause. Sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Some causes of tinnitus include:

  • Metabolic disease
  • Medications
  • Neurological disorders
  • Head and neck tumors
  • Hearing loss
  • Trauma to the ear
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Decreased blood flow to the ear
  • Diet (caffeine, alcohol, and other)
Tinnitus may be treated in numerous ways, depending on the cause. It is important to note that NONE of the remedies available on the internet, through mail order, or at stores have ever been proven to work better than placebo. Depending on what causes are suspected, tinnitus may be treated by:
  • Additional, decrease or change in medication (by your physician)
  • Change in diet
  • Hearing aids (if hearing loss exists)
  • Counseling and sound therapy by an audiologist
Only your physician can make a change in your medication, however your audiologist can help to diagnose and make recommendations for treatment. If tinnitus is suspected to be related to diet or hearing loss, your audiologist can help you explore ways to address it. If the cause cannot be determined or tinnitus is not abated through medical treatment, counseling and sound therapy helps most people to decrease the loudness of tinnitus and learn to live a normal life. Tinnitus is not a curable problem. It most often never goes away. However, with the proper diagnosis, counseling, and treatment approach tinnitus is something that does not need to run your life. If you have tinnitus, make an appointment with an audiologist at Innsbruck Hearing & Balance Center today!

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