Tinnitus, or phantom sounds of the ear, affects 17% of the total population and 33% of the elderly. Many people do not actively seek treatment because they are told there is no solution for the condition. This may result in stress, anxiety, or difficulty sleeping, which negatively impacts overall quality of life.
At Hearing Associates, Inc., we offer this population a solution. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy helps tinnitus patients take control of their lives again. Through counseling and sound therapy techniques, our Doctors of Audiology work with each individual patient to retrain the brain and reduce the overall perception of tinnitus.
You will be asked to fill out questionnaires regarding your tinnitus and how it affects you and your quality of life.
Why this is important: Tinnitus affects each person very differently. Your responses on these forms provide information about the severity of the symptoms, when it bothers you, and how it affects you. Your Doctor of Audiology can then ask questions specific to your complaints to get a good understanding of how the tinnitus is affecting your quality of life.
We will discuss your tinnitus, stress, medications, hearing, balance, health conditions, and more. All of this information is pertinent to help us understand your symptom(s), make a diagnosis, and recommend the best solution for you.
Often times, tinnitus may be a symptom of an underlying hearing loss. Completing an evaluation of your hearing is important to rule out hearing loss as a possible contributing factor to your tinnitus. A very slight hearing loss that may not be severe enough to cause difficulty understanding conversation could be enough to cause the symptom of tinnitus.
Why this is important: If there is a hearing loss present, it is important to first address the hearing loss prior to addressing tinnitus. For 60-70% of patients with both hearing loss and tinnitus, the use of hearing aids provides an improvement in their tinnitus.
The audiologist may complete an evaluation of your tinnitus to determine your tinnitus pitch (i.e., high or low) and the volume of your tinnitus (i.e., loud or soft). This subjective measure is the only way to evaluate tinnitus and provides helpful information for tinnitus treatment.
The results of the hearing and tinnitus evaluation are discussed with you immediately following the evaluation. Your Doctor of Audiology will discuss the nature of tinnitus, what affects it, available treatment options, at home management strategies, and will make appropriate medical referrals if necessary.
Why this is important: Counseling for tinnitus is the most important part of the appointment. Education regarding your tinnitus can provide some relief. You will have time to ask any questions you have about your tinnitus and the available treatment options. The goal of tinnitus counseling is to make sure that you have a good understanding of your tinnitus, what affects it, and what you and your Doctor of Audiology can do to help manage it.