Our bodies are made up of incredibly interconnected systems—especially our ears. If you’re experiencing a complaint with your hearing, it often doesn’t exist on its own—people may experience a variety of complaints, like tinnitus and hearing loss, at the same time. Explore how these conditions interact, how one can affect the other, and how to manage multiple hearing complaints at the same time.
If you hear a buzzing or ringing in your ears, you’re likely experiencing tinnitus, a sensation of perceiving sounds that cannot be heard by others. While most people experience brief periods of ringing in their ears at some point (like after going to a loud concert), some deal with long-term tinnitus symptoms. There are three types of tinnitus: subjective, objective and pulsatile.
Tinnitus itself is not a disease—rather, it’s a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Numerous conditions can cause tinnitus, so it’s important to consult a medical professional if you’re experiencing it. While anyone can develop tinnitus, some factors could increase your risk:
Tinnitus symptoms are primarily sounds you “hear” without external noise. Some of the noises tinnitus sufferers describe include:
The sound you hear correlates to the type of tinnitus you have. A number of health conditions are often pointed to as tinnitus causes:
While tinnitus is an uncomfortable and annoying sensation that can disrupt your hearing, tinnitus itself doesn’t cause hearing loss.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus symptoms, hearing loss could be a factor. Tinnitus is sometimes an early sign that you’re experiencing a decline in your hearing.
While there is no cure, there are strategies to manage symptoms and find relief for tinnitus.
Hearing loss varies in cause and severity, but in all cases, it refers to a reduced ability to perceive sounds. And while it affects everyone differently, it can be broken down into three main types of hearing loss . By getting to know the types of hearing loss, it’s easier to understand what you are experiencing.
There are numerous causes of hearing loss:
Think you’re experiencing hearing loss? If these occurrences are common in your daily life, you may have some degree of hearing impairment. Signs of hearing loss include:
This is not an exhaustive list of all hearing loss symptoms, but if any of these common symptoms apply to you, book an appointment with a licensed hearing care professional to test your hearing.
Depending on the type of hearing loss you are experiencing, there are many hearing loss treatment options available. If you are experiencing sensorineural hearing loss, your doctor will likely recommend prescriptive hearing aids selected and programmed to meet your hearing loss needs and your lifestyle.
More severe hearing loss might be eligible for treatment with a cochlear implant. Bone conduction hearing aids, which are used for permanent conductive type hearing losses are another option. Bone conduction hearing aids amplify sounds via vibrations through the head when worn on a headband or on the skin directly.
While medical solutions are the most effective way to manage hearing loss, there are practical lifestyle changes you can make to avoid worsening hearing loss.
Because hearing loss and tinnitus are interconnected, people living with both can find relief in hearing aids. Miracle-Ear hearing aids include several tinnitus treatment therapy programs, including static noise, ocean waves and Notch therapy, giving you options that distract from the ringing in your ears.
At the same time, your hearing aids can be programmed to address your hearing loss and help you navigate the world around you with ease. With the guidance of your hearing care professional (HCP), you can find a hearing loss solution that addresses both concerns.
Living with tinnitus and hearing loss can take a toll on people who have both conditions. Tinnitus often comes with frustration and annoyance at the constant ringing in the ears, and hearing loss can lead to feelings of exasperation by not being able to join conversations as you once did. This can lead to social isolation, loneliness and general discomfort.
Despite these challenges, with the right treatment and mindset, there is help. The most important thing to remember as you seek solutions is to maintain a positive outlook and take an active role in managing your hearing. There are ways to address your questions, frustrations and challenges, and your HCP is ready to help you navigate any questions you may have. It may seem like an overwhelming process to find relief, but there are solutions to assist to hear comfortably and confidently.
If you have noticed symptoms of hearing loss or tinnitus, schedule your free appointment at your local Miracle-Ear today to test your hearing.