211 South Main Street
Laconia, New Hampshire 03246
The sounds which are heard in your own head, but not by anyone else, are called Tinnitus. Tinnitus can range from mildly annoying to very upsetting. The sounds of tinnitus can be perceived as anything from a single pitch to multiple pitches, to static, to even music and singing. Some people can ignore their tinnitus while others are driven to distraction from it.
A large percentage of the population experiences tinnitus, at least at some point in time. Most, notice it when they are resting or in a quiet environment. There is no medication that can cure Tinnitus.
However, some anti-anxiety medications have a component that can increase the presence of tinnitus. In fact, a great number of medications list this as a possible side-effect. In particular, well known drugs such as aspirin, Naprosyn, Motrin, and Quinine are known to cause tinnitus, when taken in larger doses. (A baby aspirin a day is not a problem). Other causes and contributing factors may include radiation treatment, anti-cancer treatments, problems in your neck, back or jaw, exposure to loud noise, and even stress. There are many causes of tinnitus and sometimes it is irreversible.
Unfortunately, tinnitus doesn’t actually come from the ear. It is thought to be due to the brain “misinterpreting” a signal from a damaged ear or from elsewhere in the cortex. The function of tinnitus is much like “phantom pain” experienced by those who have lost a limb. Picasso couldn’t stop his tinnitus, even by removing his ear. William Shatner, of Star Trek fame, said, “tinnitus robs you of your silence.”
For some people, keeping external sounds playing (such as a TV or radio) will help make their tinnitus less noticeable. Also, review your prescriptions with your pharmacist or physician. For those who are greatly aggravated by their tinnitus, the place to start is with your Audiologist and your physician for complete evaluations.
If there is no medical resolution, instruments are available that are specifically designed to help reduce the annoyance of tinnitus. These instruments look like hearing devices. Some can make a static noise to help “cover up” the tinnitus. Some make sounds that keep the brain too busy to attend to the tinnitus too. One such product, The Zen, by Widex, is available through this office.
If your Audiologist isn’t able to provide enough assistance to allow you to find more peace in your life, then a referral to a tinnitus specialist may be needed.
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AUDIOLOGY SPECIALISTS, LLC
211 South Main Street • Laconia, New Hampshire 03246
(603) 528-7700 • (800) 682-2338 • email@example.com