Tinnitus is any buzzing, humming or ringing in the ears when there is no external sound present. It can often be very irritating and frustrating for those who experience it. What many don’t realize is that tinnitus itself isn’t a disease, but is often the symptom of hearing loss or other disorder of the ear. The first step to treatment is to diagnose the underlying cause.

Some common causes of ringing in the ear include impacted wax in the external ear, an ear infection, middle ear or nerve tumors, circulation disorders, noise-induced hearing loss of the inner ear, migraines and epilepsy. It is important to see an audiologist if you experience symptoms to identify or prevent hearing loss or other medical conditions of the ear.

For most people, the ringing or buzzing sounds is only a minor irritation. And for many, it is the first symptom of hearing loss. If that is the case, audiologists at San Diego Hearing Center can determine if a hearing aid is necessary.

For other people, the sounds can be a life-altering issue that affects sleep and mood significantly, even when there is no other condition associated with the tinnitus. For some, hearing aids and tinnitus maskers can work together to both override symptoms with more tolerable sounds and assist with regular hearing.

For other people, alternative treatment options may include hypnosis, counseling, relaxation therapy, biofeedback and tinnitus maskers. Self-help groups are another option for those suffering from mild forms of tinnitus. They can provide resources and support to help people feel more in control. Your audiologist can help determine what treatment option is best for you.