Symptoms of Tinnitus – What to Look For

The American Tinnitus Association defines the condition (which can be pronounced either tin-NYE-tus or TIN-ni-tus) as hearing sounds that no one else can hear. It is a condition that seems to be related to age (most cases appear after the age of 50), and is much more common in men than in women. It affects an estimated 50 million Americans, and for unknown reasons, it also seems to affect twice as many people in the South as in other areas of the country.

A range of sounds are experienced by tinnitus suffers and there are different types of tinnitus associated with these sounds.Most people with the condition hear sounds that no one else can hear; this type is referred to as Subjective tinnitus. Incredibly, there are circumstances in which a doctor or audiologist can detect these sounds upon examination, this is called Objective tinnitus. Less frequent types of tinnitus include hearing low-frequency noises (which are often mistakenly attributed to external sources rather than tinnitus), musical hallucinations (in which the person hears what appears to be music that no one else can hear), and pulsatile tinnitus (often heard as rhythmic beats that seem to be in time with one’s pulse).

If there is a single most common symptom of tinnitus, it is hearing a persistent, high-pitched ringing noise, in one

ear or in both ears. Though this is the most commonly heard sound others hear buzzing, clicking, whistling, roaring and hissing that can increase and decrease in pitch and volume. If you have mild tinnitus, you might tend to notice it only in quiet environments, because the ambient sounds of noisy environments can mask the buzzing or ringing sounds. Some people experience their tinnitus as related to their posture; for example, it is more present when they are lying or sitting down than when they’re standing. For many people with mild tinnitus it is a passing irritation that comes and goes. But for those experiencing more severe symptoms it can be a source of exhaustion, depression, stress, and anxiety. Interruptions in sleep or concentration are often found in many of these severe cases. Our specialists can quickly diagnose tinnitus by performing a simple, painless examination and hearing test. Tinnitus can be a warning sign of diseases like high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and Meniere

Are you Experiencing Tinnitus

Tinnitus is defined by The American Tinnitus Association as the condition in which a person hears sounds that most often no one else can hear. Tinnitus is more common in men than women, and tends to be age-related, appearing most commonly after the age of 50. Tinnitus inexplicably affects more Americans in the South than other parts of the country, and an estimated 50 million Americans currently have the condition.

Tinnitus can be of different types, and those who experience it may hear very different types of sounds. The first type distinction is between subjective tinnitus (in which only the person with the condition can hear the sounds) and objective tinnitus (which is rare, but in these cases a doctor can actually hear the sounds using sensitive listening devices). Beyond these two common forms of tinnitus there are several other less common forms. These include musical hallucinations (a person hears music that is not playing), pulsatile tinnitus where the rhythmic beats of the heart are heard, and low-frequency sounds that are mistaken for real noises in the environment.

The prevalent symptom of tinnitus is a ringing in one or both ears. This is often a continual high-pitched ringing that does not cease. This symptom may also be experienced as a buzzing, hissing, roaring, whistling, or clicking sound, one that can change in both pitch (frequency) and amplitude (loudness). Mild tinnitus can be masked by every day sounds and while it may appear tinnitus comes and goes for some sufferers it’s important to know that the condition may only be heard in less noisy environments. Some experience the symptoms of tinnitus more when they are lying down or sitting, as opposed to standing up. Although for most people tinnitus is more a nuisance than anything else, for some it has severe repercussions: they may suffer increased levels of stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Interruptions in sleep or concentration are often found in many of these severe cases. Our specialists can quickly diagnose tinnitus by performing a simple, painless examination and hearing test. Scheduling an appointment is highly recommended, because sometimes tinnitus can be an indicator of serious disease conditions such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and Meniere’s disease, or indicate more serious forms of hearing loss.

Do you Have Tinnitus

The American Tinnitus Association defines the condition (which can be pronounced either tin-NYE-tus or TIN-ni-tus) as hearing sounds that no one else can hear. Experienced generally more often by men over the age of 50, tinnitus appears to be age-related. It affects an estimated 50 million Americans, and for unknown reasons, it also seems to affect twice as many people in the South as in other areas of the country.

Tinnitus can be of different types, and those who experience it may hear very different types of sounds. Most people with the condition hear sounds that no one else can hear; this type is referred to as Subjective tinnitus. Incredibly, there are circumstances in which a doctor or audiologist can detect these sounds upon examination, this is called Objective tinnitus. Other less common types of tinnitus include 1) hearing low-frequency sounds, often mistaken for being actual sounds in the environment, 2) pulsatile tinnitus, in which the person hears rhythmic beats in time with their pulse, and 3) musical hallucinations, or hearing music that is not really present.

If there is a single most common symptom of tinnitus, it is hearing a persistent, high-pitched ringing noise, in one ear or in both ears. The noise may also be perceived as a buzzing, whistling, hissing, roaring, or clicking sound, and can vary in both pitch and intensity. Mild tinnitus can be masked by every day sounds and while it may appear tinnitus comes and goes for some sufferers it’s important to know that the condition may only be heard in less noisy environments. Some people experience their tinnitus as related to their posture; for example, it is more present when they are lying or sitting down than when they’re standing. Many people perceive their tinnitus to be more of a nuisance than a disorder, but in others it is definitely a source of fatigue, increased stress, and even conditions of depression and anxiety. Some tinnitus sufferers have complained that the condition made it more difficult for them to concentrate or sleep.

Tinnitus can be diagnosed by one of our specialists by performing a short, painless examination. We recommend that if you suspect that you may have tinnitus you see us, because it can sometimes be an indicator of more serious forms of hearing loss, or even underlying health conditions such as Meniere’s disease, arteriosclerosis, and high blood pressure.

I am Gradually Losing My Ability to Hear – Why?

Why? It’s the number question by our patients. If you are concerned that you are experiencing some hearing loss, you are not alone, because the hearing of over 22 million Americans has become somewhat impaired, and 10 million of them have suffered hearing loss (which is defined as being unable to hear normal conversations).

We lose our hearing for countless reasons but more often than not hearing deteriorates as we get older. This type of age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis. As we get older the nerves and sensitive hair cells in the inner ear begin to break down resulting in presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. Symptoms of this type of hearing loss are experienced as being unable to distinguish the difference between consonants like T, K, S, P, and F, or not hearing high-pitched sounds like the voices of women and children. The next most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), also called acoustic trauma, which is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises. It can happen as a result of being around loud music (such as attending or working in loud nightclubs) or working with noisy machines or equipment. Both of these conditions are examples of sensorineural hearing loss and in many cases cannot be easily reversed, only treated using hearing aids or other technologies to amplify the sounds you can no longer hear and filter them to make them more understandable.

A third type, conductive hearing loss, is reversible and is caused by a blockage in the ear canal preventing sound from reaching the eardrum. Earwax is the likely culprit and can be easily treated. This type of hearing loss may also be caused by a buildup of fluid in the middle ear, by otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth that renders the inner ear less able to transmit and understand sounds), and by the eardrum having been perforated or scarred.

Hearing loss can also occur as a result of exposure to certain medications, such as antibiotics and some drugs used to treat cancer, and as a result of infections of the middle ear or ear canal. Certain diseases may also cause hearing loss, such as M

My Ability to Hear is Getting Worse – Why is This Happening?

When treating patients, this is one of the questions most often asked of us. The definition of hearing loss is simple: you are unable to hear normal conversations. It’s also extremely common with over 22 million hearing impaired Americans and 10 million suffering from hearing loss.

We lose our hearing for countless reasons but more often than not hearing deteriorates as we get older. This type of age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis. As we get older the nerves and sensitive hair cells in the inner ear begin to break down resulting in presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. Symptoms of this type of hearing loss are experienced as being unable to distinguish the difference between consonants like T, K, S, P, and F, or not hearing high-pitched sounds like the voices of women and children. The next most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), also called acoustic trauma, which is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises. This can affect young people as well as the elderly, especially if they are frequently around loud music, noisy equipment such as power mowers or motorcycles. Age-related and NIHL are both sensorineural hearing loss that is often irreversible. Fortunately this type of hearing loss can be improved with the use of hearing aids to amplify and refine sound.

A third type, conductive hearing loss, is reversible and is caused by a blockage in the ear canal preventing sound from reaching the eardrum. Earwax is the likely culprit and can be easily treated. Other types of conductive hearing loss may be caused by perforation or scarring of the eardrum, by a buildup of fluid in the middle ear, or by otosclerosis, an abnormal bone formation that causes the inner ear to become less flexible and thus less effective at transmitting and understanding sounds.

Hearing loss can also occur as a result of exposure to certain medications, such as antibiotics and some drugs used to treat cancer, and as a result of infections of the middle ear or ear canal. There are also common diseases that may result in hearing loss, such as diabetes, M

Why am I Losing my Hearing?

This is one of the questions we are asked most often. There are many reasons why you could have experienced some hearing loss, but the most important thing to know is that if you have, you are not alone – 22 million Americans have some degree of impaired hearing, and 10 million of them qualify as having hearing loss, as defined by having difficulty hearing normal conversations.

We lose our hearing for countless reasons but more often than not hearing deteriorates as we get older. This type of age-related hearing loss is known as presbycusis. As we get older the nerves and sensitive hair cells in the inner ear begin to break down resulting in presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. Symptoms of this type of hearing loss are experienced as being unable to distinguish the difference between consonants like T, K, S, P, and F, or not hearing high-pitched sounds like the voices of women and children. The next most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), also called acoustic trauma, which is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises. Unlike age-related hearing NIHL can be experienced by anyone. This hearing loss can occur from overexposure to loud music or machinery like motorcycles or mowers. These are both examples of what is called sensorineural hearing loss, and although these conditions can rarely be reversed or eliminated, they can easily be treated using hearing aids to amplify and filter the sounds you hear.

Conductive hearing loss is different, and is characterized by a blockage in the ear canal that prevents sound from reaching the eardrum; the most common cause of this is the most easily treated and reversed, a buildup of ear wax. Other types of conductive hearing loss may be caused by perforation or scarring of the eardrum, by a buildup of fluid in the middle ear, or by otosclerosis, an abnormal bone formation that causes the inner ear to become less flexible and thus less effective at transmitting and understanding sounds.

Hearing loss can also occur as a result of exposure to certain medications, such as antibiotics and some drugs used to treat cancer, and as a result of infections of the middle ear or ear canal. There are also common diseases that may result in hearing loss, such as diabetes, M

Common Hearing Aid Buying Mistakes Made by First Time Customers

The selection and purchase of a first hearing aid can be an overwhelming task for anyone. The publication Consumer Reports followed a dozen people over a period of six months as they shopped for their first hearing aid, and reported on it. Their report was dismaying: two-thirds of the aids purchased ended up being misfitted, or amplified the sounds either too much or too little. Prices varied widely, and the people selling them did not always provide the kinds of information the shoppers needed. That said, there are tips that can help you when shopping for your first hearing aid, and in this article we’ll cover a few of them. This article is too short to provide all the tips that would be useful, so to supplement it we recommend Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids. These guidelines are provided on the website of the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), a non-profit corporation that educates the public about hearing loss and what can be done about it. Here are our suggestions:

Seek professional help

You can do this either by calling us for an appointment, or by consulting another certified hearing specialist in your area; either way we suggest you read the BHI guidelines before your first appointment. The BHI guidelines will walk you through what you can expect at your first appointment and what questions you may need to ask your specialist.

Determine which type of hearing aid you need

This depends on the type and severity of your hearing loss, and should have been determined by tests performed by specialists during Step 1. The type of aids you choose should reflect which type is best for your particular hearing problems, and for your budget.

Do your homework

After selecting the type of hearing aid that is best for your situation use the Internet to research different models. You should be looking for user reviews of the units’ reliability and comfort, price comparisons, and reports on the frequency of problems encountered with them.

Find a reliable vendor

This vendor may be your hearing specialist from Step 1 or someone they referred you to. The vendor should be able to make molds of your ears and fit the aids properly. While it is possible to buy hearing aids on the Internet, this is not recommended because most models have to be custom-fitted.

Ensure proper fit and performance

The vendor should perform tests to make sure of a proper fit and that everything is working correctly during your first fitting. A “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty and free follow-up appointments for fine-tuning and adjustments are standard with reputable vendors.

We wish you good luck with selecting your first hearing aid, and want you to know that we are here to provide help if you need it.

Hints for First-Time Hearing Aid Buyers

Shopping for and selecting your first hearing aid is a daunting task, and not just for you. Consumer Reports published a comparative report on hearing aids after following over a dozen people for six months while purchasing their first hearing aids. Their report was dismaying: two-thirds of the aids purchased ended up being misfitted, or amplified the sounds either too much or too little. Even within this small group of people the price range for these hearing aids was huge and they were not always provided the best information by the retailers. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips you can follow so you can find the most comfortable hearing aid for you and avoid expensive mistakes. However, we can’t cover all the information you need to make this important decision in this article so please have a read through Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids – a useful in-depth decision making tool provided by The Better Hearing Institute (BHI). It is an article provided by a non-profit corporation called the Better Hearing Institute (BHI), which provides educational materials about hearing loss and how to correct it. Here are our suggestions:

Consult a professional hearing specialist

Make an appointment to see one of our audiology specialists or any other certified hearing specialist in your area. You can be best prepared for your appointment by reviewing the BHI guidelines beforehand. Those guidelines will help you to know what to expect, and what types of questions to ask.

Select the hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle

Your certified hearing specialist will help you determine which hearing aid is best for you. During your examination in Step 1 they will conduct an examination and hearing tests to diagnose the type and severity of any hearing loss. Settling on the perfect hearing aid for you will take into account the type of hearing loss you are experiencing as well as your budget.

Research hearing aids of this type

After selecting the type of hearing aid that is best for your situation use the Internet to research different models. Your research should focus on any reports of problems or repairs, consumer reviews on comfort and reliability, as well as price comparisons.

Find a reliable vendor

This may be the hearing specialist you went to in Step 1, or someone recommended by them. Whoever you select as the vendor, make sure they have the proper training to make molds of your ears and fit hearing aids properly. You can buy hearing aids over the Internet, but because most models must be custom-fitted, we do not recommend this.

Your hearing aid should fit comfortably and sound great

The vendor should perform tests to make sure of a proper fit and that everything is working correctly during your first fitting. A “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty and free follow-up appointments for fine-tuning and adjustments are standard with reputable vendors.

We are here to help you as you make the purchase of your first hearing aid and we wish you good luck on this exciting journey to better hearing!

First Time Hearing Aid Buyer Recommendations

If you’re shopping for your first hearing aid and finding the process confusing, you are not alone. Consumer Reports published a comparative report on hearing aids after following over a dozen people for six months while purchasing their first hearing aids. What they found was less than satisfying, because they found that two-thirds of the aids were either improperly fitted or that they provided either too much or too little volume. Even within this small group of people the price range for these hearing aids was huge and they were not always provided the best information by the retailers. To spare you this experience, in this article we’ll try to provide a few tips to help you when shopping for your first hearing aid. However, we can’t cover all the information you need to make this important decision in this article so please have a read through Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids – a useful in-depth decision making tool provided by The Better Hearing Institute (BHI). The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is a non-profit that publishes information on hearing loss and its treatment, including this guide and many others. Here are our suggestions:

Seek professional help

You can do this either by calling us for an appointment, or by consulting another certified hearing specialist in your area; either way we suggest you read the BHI guidelines before your first appointment. Those guidelines will help you to know what to expect, and what types of questions to ask.

Select the hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle

Your certified hearing specialist will help you determine which hearing aid is best for you. During your examination in Step 1 they will conduct an examination and hearing tests to diagnose the type and severity of any hearing loss. Settling on the perfect hearing aid for you will take into account the type of hearing loss you are experiencing as well as your budget.

Do your research

After determining the type of hearing aid you need, use the Internet to look up information about different models. You should be looking for user reviews of the units’ reliability and comfort, price comparisons, and reports on the frequency of problems encountered with them.

Search for and select a vendor you can rely on

This may be the hearing specialist you went to in Step 1, or someone recommended by them. Your hearing aid vendor should be trained and equipped to make molds of your ears to fit your hearing aid properly. You can buy hearing aids over the Internet, but because most models must be custom-fitted, we do not recommend this.

Your hearing aid should fit comfortably and sound great

This should be done before walking out the door after your first fitting, and the vendor you select should support this. A “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty and free follow-up appointments for fine-tuning and adjustments are standard with reputable vendors.

We wish you good luck with selecting your first hearing aid, and want you to know that we are here to provide help if you need it.

Reducing Long Term Hearing Problems in Professional and Amateur Musicians

Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Ludwig van Beethoven and Eric Clapton – what trait do these diverse musicians all share? As a result of years of performing, they all have permanent hearing loss. When I treat musicians, I have to tell them a sad but unavoidable fact of life – the very music they love to play may be damaging their hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL is caused by exposure to loud music and produces a ringing in the ears known as tinnitus; continued exposure to loud music can cause permanent hearing loss.

The hearing loss can happen to any musician, whether they play in a rock band, in a symphony orchestra, in a chamber music group, or just play at home when rehearsing. You can experience hearing loss when exposed for a prolonged period of time to any sound over 85 decibels (dB). While 85dB may sound like a high level of sound, even rehearsal situations can produce these levels. Rock musicians and classical alike are both exposed to excessive amplitude of sound; an unamplified violin reaches 103dB and an electric guitar produces 120dB. In fact, audiologists researching hearing loss in musicians have found that overexposure to sound while rehearsing adds up to more hours than they spend on stage performing.

By investing in a pair of earplugs – high-quality musicians earplugs, not the cheap foam earplugs you find in pharmacies – you can take steps to protect your hearing. The first musicians earphones were invented by Etymotic Research, and other manufacturers still use their design to create specialized ear protection for musicians. These musicians earphones are better for your purposes because they allow you to hear the full frequency range of both music and speech, but at lower volumes that don’t damage hearing.

Universal-fit musicians earplugs, starting at about $15 a pair, can be found at most stores that sell musical instruments. But for the musicians I see – whether they play professionally or just for fun – I recommend custom-molded musicians earplugs with Etymotic filters, because of the greater protection they provide. These will be more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, more effective at blocking undesirable levels of noise while allowing you to hear the music properly, and easier to clean and care for. Yes, they’re more expensive than the earplugs sold in music stores, but since hearing damage is irreversible, how much is your ability to hear the music you play worth to you?