After you've been diagnosed with tinnitus, you may need to see an otolaryngologist (otolaryngologist). You may also need to work with a hearing expert (audiologist). Navigating the healthcare system can be difficult, especially when it comes to a distracting, annoying, and disconcerting condition, such as tinnitus. To help patients find the best possible treatment for tinnitus, ATA has developed a browser for tinnitus patients that identifies the optimal step-by-step process for finding medical support.
If you or someone you know has tinnitus that is causing a problem, this is a good place to find help. You can seek help from a wide variety of healthcare providers, including but not limited to audiologists, otolaryngologists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, dentists and physical therapists. The following describes vendor training and possible ways they can help. All of the providers listed below must be licensed by the state in which they provide services.
The license can be verified by consulting your state licensing board. All of the providers on the list support ATA's mission, but they may not necessarily specialize in the evaluation and treatment of tinnitus. Keep in mind that treating tinnitus is not within the scope of practice for hearing aid dispensers in all states. Audiologists have a master's degree (M, A).
Audiologists work predominantly in private offices, otolaryngology offices, academic medical centers, and hospitals. The ATA also has a free online directory of hearing health professionals, who have self-identified as tinnitus specialists. Learn about existing treatment options when you start to notice bothersome tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus can be a very frightening condition, especially if it develops quickly, without warning, or without a clear triggering event.
However, it's important for tinnitus patients to stay calm and not be frightened by their condition. Tinnitus is very, very rarely indicative of an underlying emergency or a potentially life-threatening medical situation. In some cases, tinnitus may be an acute symptom that goes away after a few days or weeks. If patients have any additional questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for more information.
Communicating your feelings and concerns is the best way to get the information and security you need to move forward with your treatment. Also, remember to write down your doctor's answers so that you can review this information later. An unfortunate truth is that doctors incorrectly tell many patients that there is nothing you can do to treat tinnitus. While it is true that there is no definitive cure for the condition, there are several proven tools that can significantly reduce the burden of tinnitus and improve the patient's overall quality of life.
Tinnitus symptoms often generate feelings of desperation and anxiety in many patients. Current estimates suggest that between 48 and 78% of patients with severe tinnitus also suffer from depression, anxiety, or some other behavioral disorder. A trained behavioral health therapist can help alleviate some of the negative emotional baggage associated with tinnitus. There are several specific behavioral and educational treatment programs for the management of tinnitus; general psychological therapy may also be beneficial.
Once you and your healthcare provider have collaboratively identified the best treatment option for your specific situation, you must fully adopt that treatment and take steps to take full advantage of its benefits. It is important to note that patients may not see immediate improvement when starting a management program. Many of the best therapies for tinnitus management (cognitive behavioral therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy, for example) require active and ongoing patient participation over a period of 6 to 12 months. These programs generate the best results when patients remain optimistic and committed, and continue treatment to completion.
You don't need to fight tinnitus alone. The patients who are most successful at managing tinnitus usually have strong support networks that help them through difficult times. Spouses, family members, friends, colleagues, and colleagues can play a positive supportive role for tinnitus patients. A strong support group can improve emotional well-being, general feelings of satisfaction, and optimism; it also minimizes feelings of social isolation and depression.
Sometimes it's helpful to talk to other tinnitus patients, people who are experiencing the same difficulties and who are participating in the same treatments as you. ATA can direct you to local tinnitus support groups, where you can meet and learn from other patients in a caring, welcoming and safe environment. The ATA can also direct you to Help Network volunteers who are willing to share their own experiences with tinnitus through individual phone calls or email correspondence. The process described above provides a general framework for taking full advantage of tinnitus control tools, which can reduce the burden of tinnitus and help patients live fuller, happier, and more peaceful lives.
These services can (and do) help people feel better. But “controlling tinnitus” is not the same thing as “curing” tinnitus. Finding a definitive cure (or cures) for tinnitus is a long-term goal for ATA. To achieve this ultimate goal, we need more research studies to improve our understanding of how tinnitus manifests and explore innovative medical solutions to the problem.
ATA is one of the only national and international organizations that is investing in cutting-edge research on tinnitus, in search of a definitive cure for this condition. Every year, we give start-up grants to researchers with innovative projects that help us understand, treat, and (eventually, we hope) cure tinnitus. These grants are fully funded by our members and donors, most of whom are tinnitus patients like you. To demonstrate your support for this noble and important work, consider becoming a member of the ATA or making a contribution to our organization.
There are as many tinnitus experiences as there are people. Learn about the various ways in which people manage their condition and get their lives back on track. ATA is one of the only organizations in the world that funds tinnitus research. Learn about the innovative road map to a cure for ATA and the recently funded studies.
You have options when it comes to treating tinnitus. Learn about your options, including general wellness, sound therapy, behavioral therapies and more. Support research and programs that benefit the entire tinnitus community. If you suffer from ringing, ringing, squeaking or ringing in your ears, you want to be relieved.
You may be tempted to see your primary doctor because the word “primary” implies that this is your first stop. You may be wondering if an otolaryngologist can help you, since “the ears seem to be the problem” and they are otolaryngologists. However, the first call should be to an audiologist. Audiologists specialize in hearing and balance disorders.
Although tinnitus doesn't affect balance, it's usually a symptom of hearing loss. Audiologists help people to hear the sounds that surround them and not to hear sounds that don't exist. They are the first choice for tinnitus treatment. Persistent tinnitus lasts longer than six months.
Before any treatment, it is important to undergo a thorough examination and evaluation by an otolaryngologist (otolaryngologist) and an audiologist. Your knowledge of tinnitus and its causes will improve your treatment. Langone doctors and audiologists at New York University can diagnose the type of tinnitus that affects you and determine if there is an underlying cause. Our ear, nose and throat doctors (otolaryngologists) and audiologists understand the extent to which tinnitus can affect your psychological and physical well-being.
They have the experience and resources to help you manage your symptoms. Rarely, pulsatile tinnitus may indicate the presence of cardiovascular disease, narrowing of the arteries, or a vascular tumor in the head, neck, or ear. The effects of tinnitus on quality of life can also be improved with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) counseling, which usually includes a series of weekly sessions led by a trained professional. Although there is no single “cure” for tinnitus, there are several options available that can help patients with tinnitus.
Excessive earwax, especially if earwax touches the eardrum, causing pressure and changing the way the eardrum vibrates, can cause tinnitus. While most patients would be well cared for following the progressive approach below, each patient's tinnitus experience is unique and may require a different treatment workflow. If tinnitus is the result of a temporomandibular disorder (sometimes referred to as TMD), your doctor will likely refer you to an orthodontist or other dental specialist for appropriate treatment. For many patients who have experienced tinnitus for less than six months, their natural progression is to improve over time, and most people don't have persistent, bothersome tinnitus.
To determine what underlying medical condition may be causing your tinnitus, your doctor will perform a general physical exam, including a careful examination of your ears. However, if tinnitus persists after treatment or if it is the result of exposure to loud noise, health professionals recommend several non-medical options that can help reduce or mask unwanted noise (see Masking devices below). Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a new therapeutic modality or agent, but its long-term benefits are not proven and cannot be recommended for treating tinnitus at this time. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, as tinnitus can be a side effect of some medications.
Although vitamin supplements or other alternative therapies have not been shown to be beneficial for treating tinnitus, some people try herbal preparations such as ginkgo biloba or minerals such as zinc or magnesium with varying results. When you are evaluated for tinnitus, the first thing your doctor will do is get a complete history and perform a thorough, specific physical exam. Many people have also benefited from tinnitus maskers, devices similar to hearing aids that reproduce a more pleasant sound than the internal noise produced by tinnitus. However, if you experience tinnitus unilaterally (ringing in one ear), you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible.