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  Treatment for Tinnitus -- 718.246.8600

Approximately 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with tinnitus, a condition commonly referred to as a ringing in the ears.

The good news is that the condition is treatable in most patients.

Tinnitus is a sensation of sound in the ear that shouldn't be there.

People may hear ringing, humming, buzzing, pulsations or other sounds.

In most cases, tinnitus occurs in individuals who have hearing loss due to noise exposure or aging. Some patients develop tinnitus when they take certain medications, like aspirin. Trauma resulting in head injury can also cause tinnitus. In other patients, no cause can be found.

Otolaryngologist (also known as ear, nose and throat doctors) are the specialist who make the diagnosis based on medical history, a general ear examination and a hearing test.

If a hearing test is normal in a patients with tinnitus, further tests are conducted to determine the cause.

The most common and successful tinnitus treatment for those who have hearing loss is to use a hearing aide.

For patients who do not want a hearing aid or whose tinnitus is not due to hearing loss, other treatments are offered. Patients can 'trick' the brain to ignore the tinnitus sounds by creating background noise (with radio static or white noise machine) because the brain will preferentially pay attention to the sound, and not the humming or buzzing.

A small but significant number of patients are helped by taking certain over-the-counter vitamins. In cases where the symptoms are so severe as to affect nearly every activity of daily living, very mild sedatives may also be prescribed.

Experimental treatments include the use of an anti-seizure medication, which has been successful in eliminating symptoms, an a tinnitus inhibitor, a hand-held device that delivers an ultrasonic vibration (that interrupts the tinnitus sounds) when held to the patients neck. Many patients report instant relief after just 30-second application of the device.

For more information, call 718.246.8600

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