New Technology – New Hope
Approximately 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus, and I am one of them. May 19-25 marks the beginning of National Tinnitus Awareness Week. With the new releases of tinnitus management tools and many Audiologists being specially trained in Sound Therapy, it is an exciting time in our field to give hope to those who have been told “You have to learn to live with it.”
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound where no external source is present and is typically sounds like ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying cause and not a condition in itself. There are many known causes including excessive noise exposure, hearing loss, head/neck injury, medication, and a variety of medical problems. Of the 50 million suffers, there are 16 million whose tinnitus is significant enough that they seek medical treatment for the condition. With the ease of access to information on the internet, many of these patients have received poor information about the condition and treatment options. I have sadly seen many patients that have invested significant monies in supplements or other tinnitus “treatments” that ultimately prove ineffective.
A Unique Treatment Model
The good news is that many Audiologists are recognizing the significant need to help properly diagnose, counsel, and treat tinnitus patients. All the Doctors of Audiology at Columbia Basin Hearing Center are members of the Tinnitus Practitioners Association, and have received extensive training on best practices for managing patients with tinnitus. CBHC has successfully used Sound Therapy in combination with a variety of new tinnitus management products to help patients truly understand what tinnitus is, why it is there, and what might be done to control it. We have seen significant positive changes in our patient’s lives utilizing this approach. Matching this counseling approach with new tinnitus management tools such as the AGX s3s Tinnitus, SoundCure Serenade often results in a highly unique treatment model that focuses on the patient and their individual needs. Developing a personal treatment plan based on the patient’s severity of tinnitus, impact on their quality of life, as well as technology needs and desires has resulted in patients having a better understanding of their condition, and ultimately having more control over the impact the tinnitus has on their lives.
We Can Help
For those patients living with the noise, I highly recommend contacting a specially trained Audiologist who can do the extensive testing and counseling necessary to help patients successfully manage this complex problem. And if you hear “You have to learn to live with it,” you’re in the wrong facility. It is true, that there is no “cure” for tinnitus, but our practice has successfully helped people manage a problem that often controls their lives and instead, with the use of counseling and new technology, have made their tinnitus a manageable condition that they now control. There has never been a brighter time to discuss the new tinnitus options with your local Audigy Certified Doctor of Audiology.