In this article we are going to examine some of the most common tinnitus myths.
Tinnitus is a hearing complication that is characterized by noises in the ears of the persons affected. The noises can be in form of ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, clicking or even roaring. This can be as an indication of an underlying disorder in the hearing system although other factors such as exposure to loud noises, injuries to the head or neck, hearing loss as a result of ageing, use of certain medications, disorders in the ear bones, accumulation of ear wax et cetera may the cause of tinnitus.
The abnormality is associated with great discomfort. In some cases may make it difficult to perceive or hear actual sound. Given that tinnitus is very common across the globe, there has been great effort by medical researchers and other interested parties to try to fully understand it. For instance, according to the MarkeTrak 9 survey made in the US, over 5% of people in the United States alone are permanently affected by the condition. A lot of information has been generated although there is still insufficient proof and explanation of some aspects of tinnitus.
As a result, there still exists a lot of myths and misconceptions about the condition some of which are discussed below:
Commonly Associated Tinnitus Myths
There is nothing you can do about tinnitus
This is one of the common tinnitus myths. it can be quite depressing given the annoyance and effect on life caused by tinnitus in people suffering from it. You can imagine the heartbreak after a visit to the doctor when he or she tells you that you will just need to put up with tinnitus as there is nothing that can be done about it. The truth of the matter is that, whilst there is no cure right now, there are a lot of things you can do to minimize those hisses and buzzes in your ears.
Just some of these remedies include:
- Employing tinnitus sound therapy.
- Protecting your ears from loud noises by putting on protective gear.
- Relaxation exercises. Stress and fatigue are contributing factors to tinnitus.
- Tinnitus counselling by experts specially trained in the same. This can determine the real causes and remedies of your condition.
- The use of ZEN tones in your hearing aids. These can really lessen the effects of tinnitus in your ears. They function by amplifying the real noises around you. This minimizes the roaring and buzzing of tinnitus in your ears.
Tinnitus will not last forever, it will soon disappear by itself
It is not entirely true that tinnitus will disappear as there are different types of tinnitus. Some types are unlikely to ever go away. Temporary tinnitus can occur as a result of short-term exposure to loud noises such as gunshots, attending a huge music concert or operating heavy machinery. This exposure may cause tinnitus but it is likely to go away after some time.
Prolonged exposure may, however, damage the hearing system thus making the tinnitus permanent. This will lead to recurring episodes of the buzzes and roaring throughout your lifetime. Hearing loss as a result of ageing is also likely to cause permanent tinnitus as age is irreversible and the emaciation of the hearing system sometimes uncorrectable, unless by use of hearing aids. The sounds of tinnitus can be classified into; mild tinnitus, high pitched tinnitus, low-frequency tinnitus and musical hallucinations.
There are medicines that can completely cure tinnitus
Some companies may prescribe medicines with the promise that the tinnitus will go away. Some may actually help a little but nothing is guaranteed to cure the condition. Despite the numerous efforts to treat tinnitus, no proven cure for the condition has been provided. Thus, the promise for a complete cure by the companies may just be a deliberate measure to rack out profits from desperate patients.
There are however some measures that can be taken to help minimize tinnitus. Using tinnitus management devises such as hearing aids and employing sound therapy are the most proven credible ways of minimizing tinnitus.
The use of hearing aids cannot help reduce tinnitus
Using hearing aids is the most credible way of reducing tinnitus. Some of these hearing aids work by amplifying the noises, especially around very quiet places thus muffing the roaring and hissing in your ears. Others work by reducing the level of sound delivered to the ear for interpretation especially in loud or noisy environments thus reducing tinnitus.
Some of the hearing devices are equipped with Widex ZENs which counter the effect of tinnitus by producing more soothing noises to the ears as opposed to the uncomfortable noises resulting from tinnitus
There is no relation between tinnitus and hearing loss
It may not always be true to say that there is no relation between tinnitus and hearing loss. The condition is actually quite widely associated with a loss of hearing. A wide range of research has proved that over 90% of people experiencing tinnitus have hearing loss. There is also a high likelihood that those who may not be suffering from loss of hearing may be having the problem hidden. One of the ways of getting rid of tinnitus is by diagnosing the underlying hearing condition (if there is one) and treating it.
You cannot contract tinnitus unless exposed to loud noises
Loud noises are just one of the contributing factors to tinnitus. Several other factors may cause tinnitus. For example, ear bone deformities, hearing loss due to ageing using some medicines like aspirins, antibiotics, depressants cancer medications et cetera.
Tinnitus eventually leads to deafness
Tinnitus and deafness are entirely two separate conditions although they may coexist in some cases. Having tinnitus does not entirely mean you will experience hearing loss. Conversely hearing loss does not necessarily cause tinnitus.
Tinnitus sounds are the same for everyone
It is a common misconception among people that ringing in the ears is the only sound indicating tinnitus. The truth is there is varying sound experienced by people suffering from tinnitus. This may include roars, buzzes, chirping, clicking and hissing. Tinnitus is just defined as the discomfort from the noises. It does not point to a specific type of noise.
It is important not to give in to the various tinnitus myths. Seek professional advice from qualified medical practitioners.
Tinnitus cannot be cured … yet! However, there are so many things that can be done to minimize the impact and effect on life.