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Colorado West Otolaryngologists

Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology Practice & Allergy Clinic located in Grand Junction, Montrose, and Gunnison, CO

Tinnitus, or ringing in your ears, affects 15-20% of adults. Though the condition can occur in children, it typically goes undiagnosed until they’re old enough to recognize the bothersome sound and realize it’s not part of normal hearing. The doctors at Colorado West Otolaryngologists, PC, can determine if an underlying ear condition causes your tinnitus. Then they create a customized treatment that helps you overcome the problem. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call one of the offices in Grand Junction, Montrose, or Gunnison, Colorado, or use the online booking feature.

Tinnitus Q & A

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus refers to hearing a sound that comes from inside your body and doesn’t exist in the environment where others can hear it. 

Though it’s often described as ringing in your ears, you may hear a variety of other noises, such as:

  • Rushing
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Whistling
  • Hissing

In addition to different sounds, other qualities of tinnitus vary from person to person. You may hear the sound all the time, or it could come and go. 

Tinnitus can affect one or both ears, and the sound ranges from quiet to loud. Some patients have such loud tinnitus that it interferes with hearing real sounds or makes it hard to concentrate.

What causes tinnitus?

Most patients have primary tinnitus, which means we can’t find a physical cause. In other cases, tinnitus is caused by an underlying ear condition such as:

  • Inner ear damage
  • Earwax buildup
  • Middle ear infection
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Noise trauma to the ear
  • Auditory nerve problems
  • Pressure on the eardrum
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction

Though not as common, non-auditory conditions can lead to tinnitus. For example, certain medications, anxiety, insomnia, and stress are associated with ringing in your ears.

How do ENT specialists treat tinnitus?

Your doctor at Colorado West Otolaryngologists reviews your medical history, symptoms, and physically examines your ears. They may perform diagnostic tests to nail down the cause of your tinnitus. For example, they may do a hearing test or an in-house CT scan.

Your tinnitus treatment starts by addressing any underlying ear conditions. Treatment options when you don’t have ear problems include: 

Noise suppression

White noise often does a good job of suppressing the sound you hear. You may use a white noise machine or a masking device worn in your ear. 

Acoustic neural stimulation

Your doctor may recommend headphones that send out an acoustic signal that’s embedded in music. The signal triggers changes in the neural circuits, gradually desensitizing you to the sound you hear. 

Hearing aid

If you also have hearing loss, you may be a good candidate for a hearing aid that contains a built-in masker to override tinnitus.

You don’t need to put up with tinnitus when expert care is available at Colorado West Otolaryngologists, PC. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today.