(BPT) - If you experience a constant ringing in your ears that's bothersome at best and debilitating at worst, you are far from alone. Tinnitus affects roughly one in five Americans and about 16 million people have serious tinnitus that requires medical attention. It's also the most common disability for military veterans, since it can be caused by extended exposure to loud noise.
While tinnitus is a common condition, it's one that can affect each person differently. While the general description involves a ringing in the ears audible only to the person with tinnitus, sufferers also report hearing a hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring or chirping sound. It also varies in severity - merely an unwelcome distraction for some but completely debilitating for others.
Those who have tinnitus often report trouble sleeping, an inability to concentrate or complete tasks and changes in cognitive ability. If left untreated, tinnitus can lead to extreme stress for sufferers, and can present challenges both at work and at home.
No cure, but treatment available
Tinnitus is often related to hearing loss, although it can also be associated with earwax, head injuries, medications and other conditions. Much like hearing loss, there's no known cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments available.
Counseling and sound therapy are often used to provide relief for those with tinnitus, and the hearing aid industry has also recently developed products than can help alleviate the problems caused by tinnitus. For example, Xino Tinnitus from Starkey is an innovative, nearly invisible, behind-the-ear device that provides relief for tinnitus sufferers.
The device has adjustable features designed to allow the wearer to experience a maximum level of relief, including volume and memory controls that can be controlled with the touch of a finger. The device can help offset the irritating sounds and thus many of the problems caused by tinnitus. This device can also be used as a hearing aid for tinnitus sufferers who also have a hearing loss and could benefit from amplification. More information can be found at www.starkey.com.
What to do if you think you have tinnitus
Tinnitus is a condition that can often be treated by a hearing care professional, although certain conditions might require medical treatment from a physician or ENT. A specialist can help you develop a treatment plan and determine if a tinnitus treatment device can help alleviate your symptoms.
If you're suffering from tinnitus, the time to get help is now. While there is no cure for tinnitus, the right treatment methods can help you manage your condition and prevent it from reaching a debilitating level. Visit www.tinnitushearing.com to learn more about this condition and find a hearing care professional near you.