Find a Location Near You
Schedule a Hearing Test
Hearing loss symptoms are difficult to recognize. The only way to know for sure is to have an expert check your hearing and record the results as part of your permanent medical record. To schedule your test today find a local hearing office, or contact us to request a hearing appointment.
What Our Customers Say
I would like to thank you for introducing me to the new aid from Optimal. This aid is the most superior aid I have ever used. It is nice to be able to understand the...See more from our customers.
Help a Loved One Hear Again
If you're concerned about a loved one, you should know that family members and close friends often notice problems earlier than the afflicted. Left untreated, hearing loss can hurt relationships and even cause depression. Help your loved one today. Contact us with your hearing questions.
Information About Tinnitus
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is often described as ringing in the ears, but can also sound like a roaring, hissing or clicking. These sounds are heard inside the head in the absence of an external sound. Tinnitus can be a bothersome and sometimes debilitating symptom of a possibly serious disease. An audiogram can help determine the cause of the tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. In many cases, if the disease that is causing the tinnitus is treated, then a reduction or elimination of the perception of tinnitus is possible. One of the most common causes of tinnitus is hearing loss. About 90% of patients have sensorineural hearing loss, 5% have conductive hearing loss and 5% have normal hearing. Other causes of tinnitus include, TMJ disorders, head injury, medications, inflammatory disorders (arthritis), ear wax impaction, ear infections, and tumors.
Who gets it?
An estimated 40-50 million people in the U.S. have suffered from tinnitus at some time in their life, so if you suffer from tinnitus, know that you are not alone. Unfortunately, only 10-20 million of those people have sought help for this problem. Surveys of tinnitus patients suggest they feel isolated and their families and employers have little understanding of their problem.
What causes it?
Before any treatment options can be determined, the cause of the tinnitus must be determined. The first step to determine cause is to have an audiogram performed by a professional. If you are feeling the effects of hearing loss, a Hearing Instrument Specialist will typically be able to perform an accurate hearing test and help determine proper treatment options. Optimal Hearing has all the equipment necessary to determine the cause of most hearing losses, which is the first step to determine how to treat tinnitus.
How do you treat it?
The cause of the tinnitus will determine the treatment options. If the cause of the tinnitus is ear wax, then once the ear wax is removed, the tinnitus should subside. If the cause is an ear infection, then once the infection is treated, the tinnitus should be reduced. If there is a sensorineural hearing loss associated with the tinnitus, then a masker or hearing aid may help reduce the perception of tinnitus. New technologies like neuromonics and other maskers and neural generators have proven to help many people who experience tinnitus. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), medications and meditation may also be effective treatments for tinnitus.
Can I ever recover?
Recent research has indicated that the outcomes with any of these treatment options are positive. A recent study has shown that 50-80% of patients with sensorineural hearing loss treated with hearing aids had a reduction in the perception of their tinnitus. Many people with tinnitus are unaware that treatments are available. Many options of treatment are available depending on the cause of the tinnitus.