What is Tinnitus?
“Tinnitus”, the perception of sound in the head when there is no outside sound source, is a symptom. Causes include exposure to loud noise, stress, injury, migraine headaches, hypertension, Ménière’s disease, drinking too much coffee, and even over-accumulations of earwax. “Ringing in the ears,” as it is commonly known, may also be a symptom of hearing loss. As tiny sensory “hair cells” in the inner ear are lost or damaged, it is interesting to note that the pitch of the tinnitus often coincides with the area of the maximal hearing loss. The good news is that proper fitting with a hearing instrument may not only relieve tinnitus, it can also help the tinnitus sufferer to hear better.
Using a hearing aid that is adjusted to carefully control outside sound levels may make it easier for you to hear. And the better you hear, the less you may notice your tinnitus. Anything you can do to limit your exposure to loud noise—by moving away from the sound, turning down the volume, or wearing earplugs—will help prevent tinnitus or keep it from getting worse.
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P.S. The people most likely to suffer from tinnitus are older adults (over the age of 65) who develop age-related hearing loss.