Tinnitus, a condition often described as a persistent ringing or buzzing in the ears, affects countless individuals worldwide. It can be both disconcerting and distressing. At San Antonio ENT, we prioritize your well-being by providing comprehensive care for a myriad of ear, nose, and throat challenges, including tinnitus. This article delves deep into the causes, symptoms, and state-of-the-art treatments we offer for tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when no external sound is present. It can manifest in various forms: ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. It may be constant or intermittent, and its volume can fluctuate.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is often a symptom of an underlying condition, such as:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Inner ear hair cell damage
- Chronic exposure to loud noises
- Earwax blockage
- Ear bone changes
- Medications that damage the ear
- Other conditions such as Meniere’s disease or disorders of the temporomandibular joint
Recognizing the Symptoms
While the hallmark symptom of tinnitus is hearing sound when no external noise is present, the sound can vary significantly among individuals. It is essential to consult a specialist if:
- You notice a sudden onset of tinnitus symptoms
- The sounds interfere with your daily life
- You experience dizziness or hearing loss alongside tinnitus
San Antonio ENT’s Approach to Tinnitus
With the integration of audiology services in 1996, San Antonio ENT offers a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling tinnitus.
- Audiograms: A test to evaluate a person’s ability to hear different sounds, pitches, or frequencies.
- Advanced hearing tests: Comprehensive tests to determine the nature and extent of hearing loss.
- Specialized tests for balance and dizziness: To ascertain if tinnitus is accompanied by balance issues.
- Neurological tests for hearing health: To ensure the auditory nerves and pathways function properly.
- Medical care for hearing loss: Addressing underlying hearing loss can sometimes alleviate tinnitus symptoms.
- Tinnitus education and rehabilitation: Our specialists provide tools and strategies to cope with and manage tinnitus.
- Hearing conservation education and program: Protecting the ear from further damage is crucial. We offer education on how to conserve your hearing and minimize the impact of tinnitus.
- Surgical treatment: In specific cases, surgical interventions can address the root cause of tinnitus.
- Vestibular rehabilitation for positional vertigo (BPPV): For those whose tinnitus is linked with BPPV, a condition causing short, intense episodes of dizziness, this rehabilitation can be immensely beneficial.
- Comprehensive hearing aid assessment and hearing restoration: In instances where hearing loss accompanies tinnitus, hearing aids can amplify external noises, making tinnitus less noticeable.
Tinnitus can significantly impact one’s quality of life. But with modern diagnostic tools and a range of treatment options, there’s hope for relief. At San Antonio ENT, our dedicated team of board-certified physicians, audiology staff, and highly specialized ancillary personnel are committed to guiding you every step of the way – from understanding your condition to finding the best treatment approach. Your hearing health is our priority.