Noise is everywhere, and it's important to protect your hearing. Avoiding prolonged exposure to loud or noisy environments and/or short burst of excessive loud noise, and wearing hearing protection are important to preventing damage.
Permanent hearing loss can develop from loud noises because of damage to the delicate hair cells lining the inner ear. Healthy hair cells are required to send auditory information to the brain, damage to them results in irreversible hearing loss.
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in one’s ears or head often described as ringing, buzzing, hissing or even musical sounds. Tinnitus is usually noticed when no external sounds are present. The sounds may be constant or intermittent and can be perceived as faint to loud. Up to 10-15% of people report having tinnitus and the majority of people with hearing loss have tinnitus. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom typically related to the auditory system. For about 90% of people with tinnitus, habituation will occur naturally.
If tinnitus is present, a medical consultation is recommended to rule out any significant medical condition.
Some Causes of tinnitus:
What may help tinnitus after a medical evaluation?
Hearing aids do not eliminate tinnitus; however, most patients report a decrease in the loudness or disturbing quality of the tinnitus when wearing hearing aids.
The audiologist at VRH can provide patients with a hearing aid program that makes use of "fractal technology" or musical tones with Widex hearing aids to mask the tinnitus.
During your consultations, our audiologist may screen for other ear-related problems. Our multidisciplinary rehab team is equipped to address any additional ear-related diagnosis.
Our team includes both vestibular specialist skilled at diagnosing and treating vertigo/inner ear problems, and a geriatric specialist skilled at diagnosing and treating balance/gait issues often associated with hearing loss.
The following are FDA Red Flags indicating when your audiologist will refer you to an ear, nose, and throat physician (ENT):
Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of ear
History of active drainage from ear in the previous 90 days
History of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days
Acute or chronic dizziness
Unilateral hearing loss of sudden onset within the previous 90 days
Audiometric air-bone gap equal or greater than 15 decibles at 500Hz, 1kHz, and 2KHz
Visible evidence of significant cerumen accumulation
A foreign body in the ear canal
Pain or discomfort in the ear