Tinnitus Evaluations & Treatment
Tinnitus is a pervasive disability that can affect multiple aspects of your daily life. Tinnitus has been linked with anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and the perception of decreased hearing. Seeking medical treatment for tinnitus can be a confusing, misleading and disappointing process. Unfortunately, there is no miracle pill for tinnitus relief. Time and time again tinnitus supplements have been proven to be ineffective or to offer no more than a placebo effect. Tinnitus causes and treatment options need to be thoroughly investigated before deciding on a treatment plan most appropriate for you. Here at Audiology Island we specialize in comprehensive tinnitus evaluations and tinnitus treatment solutions. Our audiology team is comprised of specialists in their field; they are trained to address the many different underlying causes of tinnitus. Through in depth questionnaires and special, tinnitus pitch matching procedures we can develop a unique plan of action that may include: Neuromonics tinnitus treatment, tinnitus treatment sound therapy, tinnitus notch therapy, and Otoharmonics retraining therapy.
How does tinnitus present itself and what may it sound like?
- Some patients describe a “roaring” tinnitus that can sound like ocean waves
- Intensity level of the tinnitus can vary from just barely audible to a debilitating loudness level
- a common description provided is a high pitched “tonal” tinnitus lasting anywhere from a few seconds, to a few minutes, or even all day long
- For some, tinnitus is most notable in quiet situations and seems to dissipate in the presence of background noise
- Tinnitus can also be described as pulsatile tinnitus, treatment in this scenario may require medical intervention
- Tinnitus can also take the form of: crackling, shower noise, running water, or in some cases auditory hallucinations of music or speech
- Tinnitus that occurs suddenly or unilaterally, in only one ear, is considered to be a medical red flag and should be thoroughly investigated before treatment begins
What are some of the underlying causes of tinnitus?
- Tinnitus can result from a change in medication, interactions of medications or even a change in dosage
- Ototoxicity: chemotherapy treatment, platinum based medications, NSAIDS (such as aspirin) and even chemicals or environmental toxins
- Noise exposure or blast exposure can be a common cause of tinnitus
- Undetected high frequency hearing loss
- Stress, anxiety or depression
The tinnitus treatment should be tailored to the underlying cause. In some cases, addressing a hidden hearing loss with amplification and more properly stimulating the auditory nerve can provide immediate relief of tinnitus. Other times, the road to recovery or relief can be filled with trial and error. It is so important to have your tinnitus addressed by a medical professional and not to buy into online or over the counter solutions which may even exacerbate your tinnitus symptoms. Our audiologists work with a team of Ear Nose and Throat doctors, neurologists and in some cases psychologists.
Tinnitus Treatment Success Spotlight:
Here at Audiology Island we have seen enormous success with our array of tinnitus solutions. We are proud to have completely cured 2 patients of their tinnitus through the use of Otoharmonics. We also have a 90% success rate of reducing debilitating tinnitus by some degree after a tinnitus treatment plan has been put into action. A more detailed description on treatment options is listed below.
Solutions for persons with or without hearing loss:
- Otoharmonics: The Levo System – The Levo system Utilizes an FDA-cleared neuroscience-based approach, the Levo System is a personal and patented nightly sound therapy designed to alleviate tinnitus and ultimately improve the quality of a patient’s daily life.
- Neuromonics: Oasis, Haven and Sanctuary Devices – These ear level devices are programmed to your audiogram and specific TRQ (Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire) and are prescribed by your hearing care professional. Based on your individual needs a device will be selected for on demand situational relief, night time use or daily wear.
Solutions specific for persons with hearing loss and tinnitus:
- Signia: Tinnitus Notch Therapy – This approach is specific for persons with hearing loss and uses a pitch matching procedure to selectively “de-amplify” the region where the tonal tinnitus is occuring.
- Manufacturer Specific: Programmable Tinnitus Treatment – Many digital hearing aids today allow the user to switch between multiple programs. A hearing aid program specific for tinnitus therapy can be added to your new or existing hearing aids if the manufacturer and level of technology permits.
Tinnitus Treatments available at Audiology Island:
- Zen Therapy by Widex
- Tinnitus therapy using hearing aids
User-friendly Levo software allows patients to listen to their personalized sound match on an Apple iPod touch®. Custom fit ear buds, designed to ensure comfort during sleep, allow for optimal positioning and controlled delivery of sound therapy. On your initial visit, your hearing professional will discuss your therapy options and administer a TFI test. After you and your hearing professional decide that the Levo System is the right therapy for you, you will be fitted for custom ear buds. On your next visit, you will receive your Levo Patient System and your hearing professional will help you perform a Sound Match to map your unique tinnitus sound. Using the Levo Patient System while sleeping for three months and then as needed, your brain should gradually habituate to your unique tinnitus sound.
The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment is not Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). It’s not a hearing aid, nor a tinnitus masker. It’s a new, global breakthrough in ear tinnitus treatment:
- Reduces symptoms quickly – Many patients enjoy some relief almost immediately
- Treats the cause – Addresses underlying neurological causes of tinnitus
- Provides significant long-term relief – Relief lasts, even long after the treatment ends
- Convenient and non-invasive – No medication or surgery required. It supports your body’s own natural mechanisms to block out tinnitus symptoms
- Clinically proven – Shown to be effective for 90% of suitable tinnitus cases as demonstrated by 15 years of clinical studies and in general clinical practice.
At the completion of your successful treatment program, your Neuromonics clinician will work with you to develop a maintenance program you can use to continue to control your tinnitus on your own. Many people may not feel the need to use the device after treatment. Those who do typically use it for short periods of time (2-4 hours per week) to help them maintain the benefits achieved.
Features of Serenade:
- Unlike other approaches, this treatment is customized to your specific tinnitus.
- Includes 4 separate sound tracks so you can select the one that works best for you, day or night.
- Treatment sounds known as S-Tones® were developed by independent leading university hearing experts and only recently commercialized.
- This technology is based on advanced research and solid science, and is FDA cleared.
- The device is small, portable, and easy to use.
- Includes SleepAssist – a 60 minute, auto-off timer to help you fall asleep.
- Independent left and right volume controls offer maximum flexibility, comfort and customization.
Zen Therapy by Widex
The Zen program helps tinnitus sufferers relax and make tinnitus less noticeable. Widex developed the Zen program inspired by the relaxing effect of certain types of music. Based on what is known as fractal technology, Zen plays random, chime-like tones that can be used for relaxation and for making tinnitus less noticeable. Our doctors of audiology can adjust the Zen program according to your preferences in terms of pitch, tempo and volume. You can try one of the Zen styles above and experiment with the Zen sound.
Tinnitus therapy using hearing aids
The distraction approach, using noise generators or maskers, is often used in tinnitus relief therapies. These devices help the hearing system concentrate on external sounds by replacing the negative auditory impressions with positive ones. Tinnitus therapy hearing aids divert attention away from the disturbing tinnitus sounds. They make it easier to listen to external sounds again instead of permanently concentrating on annoying internal sounds. The sound emitted by the hearing aids draws focus away from the tinnitus.
In order to get tinnitus help and minimize the constant ringing in ears you need to undergo tinnitus evaluation and get the right diagnosis.
At Audiology Island’s tinnitus and hearing center our expert audiologists will look in your ears and conduct an extended hearing evaluation. We will test your ability to hear higher pitch sounds then a usual hearing evaluation as this is relevant to identifying your ringing in ears. We will try to match the pitch and loudness whether it’s ringing in right ear, ringing in left ear or ringing in head. By identifying the pitch, frequency and volume of tinnitus our doctors of audiology will be able to see if they can cover up the sound of your tinnitus with other sounds like background noises. If successful this can significantly reduce your tinnitus distress. You will also complete a questionnaire and answer detailed questions from your audiologist regarding the effect of tinnitus on your lifestyle. Some hearing aids have tinnitus therapy such as notch therapy or masking therapy that is available. Our doctors of audiology will be able to recommend the right solution for your specific problem.
The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss. If your tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, then hearing aids can significantly reduce the impact of your tinnitus. Unfortunately there is no miracle pill that would completely cure tinnitus, however there are many tinnitus solutions that can be used with the help of hearing aids. Hearing aids and tinnitus go hand-in-hand. Hearing aids reduce your tinnitus by improving your brains’ ability to hear sounds and by reducing your level of stress when trying to listen to sounds.
Tinnitus can be temporary or permanent. After being exposed to loud sounds for a long period of time you will often experience temporary tinnitus. Depending on whether you have tinnitus in one ear or both, the length of treatment is very individual. Ringing in ears cure would work best for you the sooner you start your tinnitus management program.
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Here at Audiology Island we are committed to addressing all of your hearing needs and believe in the development of a comprehensive approach to a healthy hearing lifestyle. Bothersome tinnitus should not be impacting your quality of life and our tinnitus specialists are uniquely qualified to ensure that your tinnitus is managed and treated so that you may regain peace of mind and peaceful hearing. Call us today to schedule an appointment if you or a family member are experiencing tinnitus to get the latest tinnitus solutions that are available today.