By: Dr. Madeleine Samuelson Herman, MD
Does a constant hum, ring, or static follow you everywhere? Is it impossible to find a truly quiet space? Tinnitus (pronounced TIN-i-tus, with a soft “i,” not tin-I-tus, doesn’t rhyme with sinusitis) affects 15% of the adult population (ATA.org), or roughly 20 million Americans.
Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound then there is no actual external noise present. Most of the time, tinnitus is the brain’s reaction to damage to the ear or auditory system. It can be caused by hearing loss due to age, genetics, or other sources, or due to any number of neurologic or psychiatric conditions, such as brain injury or anxiety.
While there is no “cure” for tinnitus, there are multiple potential methods for improving the symptoms. These include masking, hearing aids, behavioral therapy, or addressing the stress and anxiety that often accompany and worsen the symptoms of tinnitus.
You should speak to your ENT at SCENT Houston to determine the cause for your tinnitus and your best treatment plan.