COLORADO SPRINGS – In this Your Healthy Family we’re talking about a hearing condition that will hit most Americans in some way at some point in their life, tinnitus.
Dr. Cassie Iliff, an audiologist with Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs says, “Ninety-four percent of the population will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives. Whether its from a gun fire blast and they weren’t wearing hearing protection, or they go to a club and then their ears ring for the next few days.”
But just what is tinnitus? Dr. Iliff says, “Tinnitus is a phantom auditory perception that we hear inside of our heads. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a ringing, it can be a roaring, rushing, tinging and some people hear bug like noises. I’ve even had patients who hear music.”
While the sounds seem real enough to those suffering from tinnitus, Dr. Iliff explains, “What’s actually happening is a misfiring in your brain. Science doesn’t actually know exactly where it’s happening in your brain, but neural activity is happening that makes this false sound in your brain, and you perceive it as happening in your ear.”
The effects of tinnitus can range from short-lasting and mildly annoying, to long-lasting and debilitating says Dr. Iliff. “A lot of people will either have a hard time falling asleep because of their tinnitus, or their tinnitus will be so loud at night that it will wake them from their sleep.”
A majority of people who suffer from tinnitus won’t do anything about it says Dr. Iliff, “Only about twenty percent will seek medical help and six percent will find it debilitating, where they can’t work they can’t carry on a conversation.”
And mild or severe, tinnitus can lead to other issues explains Dr. Iliff, “A lot of people have higher anxiety because they think, this is just the way my life is going to be I’m going to have this problem forever, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
At Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs they have focused on the most recent research and effective methods utilizing two different kinds of therapies to treat tinnitus and are having excellent results, even for those suffering from severe tinnitus says Dr. Iliff, “They hear it 100% of the time and they’re annoyed by it 100% of the time, those are the people that we’ve been treating successfully who were coming to a place where they can lay in bed at night and not have this overwhelming sense of sound in their head.”
There are 2 other conditions that can be related to tinnitus, called misophonia and hyperacusis that we will explore in future stories.
If you have questions about tinnitus, and it’s treatment contact the folks at Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs.
Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs are a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family