Who Has Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, like pain, is subjective. The severity of tinnitus and...
how it affects one’s life is largely influenced by the individual’s reaction to the tinnitus. Many tinnitus sufferers report interference with sleep, concentration and attention to detail. Some are depressed and anxious and may report additional problems at work or at home. Many people with tinnitus also suffer from hyperacusis, an inability to tolerate even moderate-level sounds. Most patients report a relationship between tinnitus and stress. The onset of tinnitus often coincides with a change (emotional, physical, or social) in one’s lifestyle. Tinnitus might have both physiological and psychological components.

There are many causes. Some of the potential causes are

Conditions in the outer ear such as ear wax (cerumen)...
  1. Conditions in the middle ear such as vascular abnormalities, infection, otosclerosis, muscle spasms,  Eustachian tube dysfunction, and benign tumors
  2. Conditions in the inner ear such as damage due to noise exposure, presbycusis (hearing loss from aging), labyrinthitis (inner ear infection), and Ménière’s disease (involving hearing loss and dizziness)
  3. Temporary effects of high dosages of medications such as anti-inflammatories (including aspirin, ibuprofen) and quinine certain sedatives and antidepressants; possible permanent effects from certain antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents
  4. Vascular disorders, acoustic tumors, head or neck aneurisms, hormonal changes, and systemic disorders such as high or low blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, and glucose metabolism abnormalities
  5. Trauma to the head or neck, cervical (neck) problems, and temporomandibular (jaw joint) misalignment, gap.

What Can You Do to Minimize Tinnitus?

Avoid loud noises & wear proper ear protection in high noise...
  1. Control stress
  2. Avoid fatigueƒ
  3. Maintain good nutritionƒ
  4. Reduce stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol
  5. Educate yourself about tinnitus
  6. Exercise

What Treatments Are Available for the Tinnitus Patient?

Tinnitus may be symptom of a treatable disease, it is important...
to try to identify and resolve a cause before deciding on the management approach.

A variety of tinnitus management procedures are available.


A trained professional will attempt to help the patient deal with the stress, distress, and distraction associated with tinnitus through cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Hearing Aids

The majority of tinnitus sufferers also have hearing loss. Amplification is among the most effective tools for providing relief from tinnitus. Hearing aids may help by amplifying speech and background sounds that reduce the loudness of the tinnitus or even mask it.


The use of an externally produced sound to cover up, inhibit, or alter production of tinnitus can offer relief for some tinnitus sufferers. There are several methods of providing masking, including tinnitus maskers, tinnitus instruments, tabletop bedside sound generators, or hearing aids. Recordings that provide various sounds (such as the sound of fan, ocean sound, rain sounds, stream sounds) & music may also help mask tinnitus. These can be used with either speakers or headphones.


Some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications address the problems associated with tinnitus and have proven helpful for certain patients. Always consult your physician concerning any drug or combination of medications you may be considering.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

TRT uses counseling to explain to the patient how a combination...
of tinnitus retraining and sound enrichment can end their negative reaction to the tinnitus sound, and then reduce their perception of it.

Laser therapy

In some cases, green laser therapy demonstration benefit...
in reducing tinnitus.

Stress Management: Relaxation

Support: Emotional support to patient