Tinnitus is a common health condition that gives you the impression that a sound is occurring despite the absence of an actual source of sound. It typically is perceived as ringing that is continuous, but can occur only occasionally and have a different sound to it. It is extremely common, affecting the lives of more than 10 million people in the US. The cause of tinnitus varies, but can be from exposure to loud noises, medications, and a variety of more serious conditions.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Tinnitus is more common in older adults. It also occurs more commonly in men, but can occur in women and in children. People with certain known conditions are more likely to have tinnitus, including vascular conditions of the head, tumors, neurologic conditions, and hearing loss.
TINNITUS (RINGING IN THE EARS) SYMPTOMS
Patients with tinnitus will be asked to describe their symptoms to help determine the cause. They will be asked about whether it is constant or intermittent and the pitch and rhythm of the sound. If your symptoms sound like “rushing” or the sound changes based on the position of your head, you may have a vascular problem. If ringing in the ears is described as clicking can often be a muscle twitch or other neurological problem and should be investigated by a physician. The most common type of tinnitus is the “ringing” sound, which is most commonly caused by hearing loss.
Diagnosis and Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears) Treatment
Beyond a description of the symptoms, the physician will perform some simple testing of the nerves of your face and head. After a physical exam, testing by an audiologist to examine your hearing is always recommended.
For ringing in the ears, the primary treatment involves treating the underlying cause to prevent further damage. This often includes hearing protection for those with exposure to loud noises. For people with ringing in the ears due to age related hearing loss, often hearing aids will help the condition. Avoiding contributing causes, such as certain medication and loud noises will help. For ringing in the ears, the treatment often involves behavioral therapy. This includes therapy to retrain your hearing system, masking the sound, and various other methods of making the ringing less severe.
How PlushCare Works
At PlushCare all of our visits are through a simple and convenient phone or video consultation. Our doctors are able to help diagnose ringing in the ears and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. If appropriate, we can provide a prescription for medications, or order lab tests to help diagnose and monitor the condition. If the doctor prescribes medication, the prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice for immediate pick-up. If lab tests are ordered, you can take the order to any Quest laboratory location you like.