What Is Tinnitus? Ringing In The Ear Causes and Treatments

Tinnitus is the medical term for when people hear sounds without any external noise. In simple terms, if you have tinnitus, you hear sounds that no one else can hear, such as ringing, whistling, clicking, swooshing, and more. These sounds can vary in intensity, from being so soft that you might barely notice them to being so loud that they overpower other external sounds.

They’re a constant and noisy companion that greatly affects the lives of those with Tinnitus. Which often causes trouble sleeping or concentrating, leading them to feel angry, frustrated, and depressed.

Surprisingly, Tinnitus is quite common among American adults. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that over 25 million Americans, or about 10% of the adult population, experience some form of tinnitus.

Within this group, approximately 5 million people deal with chronic and bothersome tinnitus, while an additional 2 million find it debilitating.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is often caused by being around loud noises for a long time, which can hurt the sensitive cells in your inner ear. Listening to loud music, being exposed to bursts of loud noise, or working at loud jobs can all lead to Tinnitus.

Other factors can also contribute to tinnitus, such as ear blockages from wax or infections, certain medications like aspirin and antibiotics, aging, health issues like Meniere's disease or high blood pressure, and head or neck injuries.

However, please take note that while there are many possible causes of tinnitus, some people develop it for no known reason.

What Treatments Can Help Tinnitus?

If caused by an underlying medical issue, addressing the root cause can significantly reduce or eliminate tinnitus symptoms. However, for many people, tinnitus may persist for months or even years, leading to the need for other treatments.

In such cases, behavioral therapy and counseling can be helpful, providing coping techniques to reduce the impact of tinnitus on your life. Learning about tinnitus can ease your anxiety by recognizing that it's often not linked to a serious medical condition.

On top of that, cognitive behavioral therapy can also be helpful in dealing with negative thoughts and focusing on positive changes to reduce the impact of your tinnitus.

Tinnitus retraining therapy, on the other hand, combines counseling and sound therapy with the goal of "retraining" your brain to ignore the bothersome tinnitus sounds.

Moreover, sound therapies can be quite beneficial for addressing tinnitus, as they are based on the idea that changes in brain circuits due to hearing loss contribute to this condition. By exposing yourself to certain sounds, you may experience a reversal of these neural changes, leading to a reduction in tinnitus volume or even its silence.

There are several sound therapy devices available to help you find relief. Tabletop or smartphone sound generators can play pleasant sounds that aid in relaxation or sleep, while hearing aids amplify external sounds and simultaneously make tinnitus less noticeable.

How To Stop Ringing In The Ears At Night

Ringing in the ears is often more noticeable in quiet places, like when you're in bed at night. In fact, 50% of those with Tinnitus say that the ringing makes it hard for them to sleep.

Making it no surprise that many of our customers have been asking me if they can wear our hearing aids to bed. And unfortunately, as much as I wish the answer was "yes", wearing hearing aids at night is not a good idea. mostly because you risk hurting your ears and damaging your hearing aids, but also because of the feedback you’d get with them rubbing against your pillow.

However, I refused to give up. Ever since I realized just how hard falling asleep with Tinnitus can be, I started working on a solution. I wanted to create something that would "mask" the ringing you hear, letting you get to sleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

And after testing, tweaking, and improving multiple versions, I have something that does just that!

I came up with The Hearing Co.'s Tinnitus Masking Sleep Headband.  This headband mask has two tiny Bluetooth speakers that can be connected to your phone, playing soothing sounds directly to your ears. These sounds distract your brain and mask your tinnitus, allowing you to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

The Hearing Co. Tinnitus Masking Sleep Headband

And since our headband plays sounds directly into your ears, nobody else will be able to hear your meditations or white noise, even if they're lying right beside you.

The best part, though, is how comfortable it is. Using ultra-thin speakers and extremely soft materials, you'll forget you're even wearing it!

Say goodbye to the constant ringing in your ears and enjoy the best sleep you've had in years! If you want to learn more about our Tinnitus Masking Sleep Headband, you can check it out here.