That Hearing Aid Ringing Noise - or commonly referred to as Tinnitus.... (this information was graciously provided by the American Tinnitus Association) Q: What is tinnitus? A:  Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder. Q: Is tinnitus a common problem?
lmost everyone at one time or another has experienced brief periods of mild ringing or other sounds in the ear. Some people have more annoying and constant types of tinnitus. One third of all adults experience tinnitus at some time in their lives. About 10%–15% of adults have prolonged tinnitus requiring medical evaluation. - See more at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/tinnitus/#sthash.qU9PVMYw.dpuf
A:  Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced brief periods of mild ringing in the ear. Some people have more annoying and constant types of tinnitus. One third of all adults experience tinnitus at some time in their lives. About 10%–15% of adults have prolonged tinnitus requiring medical evaluation.
Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced brief periods of mild ringing or other sounds in the ear. Some people have more annoying and constant types of tinnitus. One third of all adults experience tinnitus at some time in their lives. About 10%–15% of adults have prolonged tinnitus requiring medical evaluation. - See more at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/tinnitus/#sthash.qU9PVMYw.dpuf
Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced brief periods of mild ringing or other sounds in the ear. - See more at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/tinnitus/#sthash.qU9PVMYw.dpufTinnitus impacts up to 50 million people in the United States and millions more worldwide. Most commonly caused by noise exposure, tinnitus drastically reduces quality of life for 250 million people worldwide.
Q: What causes tinnitus? A: The exact cause of tinnitus are still unknown but scientists are working hard to understand the condition and are making a lot of progress.  There are several sources, all of which are known to trigger or make someone's tinnitus worse such as:
  • Noise exposure - Exposure to loud noises can damage and even destroy hair cells, called cilia, in the inner ear. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot be renewed or replaced.
  • Head and neck trauma - Physical trauma to the head and neck can induce tinnitus. Other symptoms include headaches, vertigo, and memory loss.
  • Certain disorders, such as hypo- or hyperthyroidism, Meniere's disease, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and thoracic outlet syndrome, can have tinnitus as a symptom. When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder can help alleviate the tinnitus.
  • Certain types of tumors
  • Wax build-up
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Ototoxicity - Some medications are ototoxic, that is, the medications are harmful or damaging to the ear. Other medications will produce tinnitus as a side effect without damaging the inner ear. Effects, which can depend on the dosage of the medication, can be temporary or permanent. Before taking any medication, make sure that your prescribing physician is aware of your tinnitus, and discuss alternative medications that may be available. To learn more visit: ATA.org/resources#ototoxic
  • Pulsatile tinnitus - Rare type of tinnitus that sounds like a rhythmic pulsing in the ear, typically in time with one's heartbeat. This kind of tinnitus can be caused by abnormal blood flow in arteries or veins close to the inner ear, brain tumors or irregularities in brain structure.
Q: What problems can tinnitus cause? A: Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable. Q) Does tinnitus cause hearing loss?
A) No – tinnitus is a symptom not a disease. Many people commonly confuse tinnitus as being the cause or underlying condition. Hearing loss is either conductive (problem with outer or middle ear) or sensorineural (problem with inner ear) and classified by different categories: mild, moderate, severe and profound. Hearing loss is a complex process and due to the personal and unique nature of each tinnitus condition, proper evaluation and specialized treatment is necessary.However, in many cases tinnitus accompanies hearing loss. Because hearing loss can be caused by noise damage to the ear, an individual can get both hearing loss and tinnitus from noise damage. However the two do not always occur together. There are many who have no measurable hearing loss but have tinnitus.
Q: Can tinnitus be cured? A: Although there presently is no cure, in some cases, tinnitus can be managed by treating the underlying cause or by altering reactions to it. Q: Why is my tinnitus more noticeable at night or when you are alone? A: The distraction of daily activities and surrounding sounds will mask your tinnitus or divert your attention away from it. Often, in a quiet environment, tinnitus will seem more intense. The best advice is to avoid silence. A noise pillow, fountain or bedside noise machine may be helpful. Q: Do's and Dont's that may lessen the intensity of tinnitus Answer:
  • Avoid silence
  • Try to avoid focusing on your tinnitus
  • Get ample rest
  • Try to exercise daily
  • Decrease sodium intake
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid nictotine
  • Have your blood pressure checked
  • Protect your hearing, avoid loud sounds
Q: What are some treatment options? Answer:
  1. Hearing aids with volume control - helps when you are alone - when "ringing" sounds loudest
  2. Tinnitus Masking - requires face to face tuning - Masking creates a white noise at same frequency as your ringing to cancel each other.
  3. TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy)
  4. Music therapy
  5. Medical treatment
Q: What devices are used for sound therapy? A: A device that looks much like a hearing aid called a noise generator is the most common treatment when there is no hearing loss accompanying the tinnitus(see tinnitus devices in Tinnitus Treatments section of this website). The instrument should be totally non-occluding so that it does not interfere with normal heairng, and should present a pleasant sound similar to that of a shower. Much of the time, this sound will reduce stress and decrease the loudness of the tinnitus. In cases where there is tinnitus and hearing loss, a combo device that delivers both soothing noise for the tinnitus, and amplification for communication needs may be employed. Note:  All Sound Therapies, Drug Therapies, sound generators and Tinnitus Maskers must be administered through an audiologist or Ear Nose and Throat Specialist.  
Will a hearing aid help my tinnitus? If you have a hearing loss, there is a good chance that a hearing aid will both relieve your tinnitus and help you hear. - See more at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/tinnitus/#sthash.qU9PVMYw.dpuf
Q.  Are there other devices that can help me? A. Sound machines that provide a steady background of comforting noise can be useful at night or in a quiet environment. Fish tanks, fans, low-volume music, and indoor waterfalls can also be helpful. Today there are even applications for portable media players (iPod or MP3 players) that offer a variety of masking sounds that may reduce the annoyance of tinnitus. Q. Will a hearing aid help my tinnitus?   A. Yes, possibly.  There is a 50/50 good chance that a hearing aid will both relieve your tinnitus and help you hear. Q.  Who do you contact for more information about Tinnitus? A. American Tinnitus Association