As many as one in five of us living in Central Florida suffer with ringing or noise in their ears or head, called tinnitus. It affects over 50 million Americans. Some say it’s a ringing or whistling type sound, while others describe it as the sound of crickets, clicking, or hissing. While tinnitus can affect adolescents and children, it seems to be more prevalent in adults.

This steady ringing can be disturbing and even debilitating. Leading to irritability, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and poor concentration.

There are several causes of tinnitus, from an underlying medical condition, ear infections, eustachian tube problems, cumulative noise exposure, injuries of the neck and head, to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Loss of the tiny sensory hair cells located in the cochlea of the inner ear is the most common cause of this condition, which is associated with hearing loss.

Research suggests that the sensory loss of certain sound frequencies leads to changes in how the brain processes sound. As the brain receives less external stimuli around a specific frequency, it begins to adapt and change. Tinnitus may be the brain’s way of filling in the missing sound frequencies it no longer receives from its own auditory system,” according to Medical News Today.

If you or a loved one is experimenting any type of tinnitus or hearing problem, it is important to visit a doctor to determine the cause.

Hearing aids have helped many of those suffering with tinnitus in several ways.

First, instead of internally generating tinnitus, the brain will have other stimuli to listen to, making the ringing sound less perceptible. Second, a hearing aid will amplify sound which will help in overcoming the deficit in volume. Both can help significantly mask tinnitus.

Don’t suffer in silence! There are other treatments, depending on the underlying cause of the tinnitus or hearing loss. Take the first step by contacting Orlando Ear, Nose & Throat for more information and to make an appointment.