From what we know about tinnitus, it’s that it heightens with stress and alcohol

What’s That Ringing In My Ears? Tinnitus Explained

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Patient Resources, Tinnitus

Tinnitus: it’s a strange sensation. Most commonly presenting itself as ringing, buzzing, or hissing, it can also sound like throbbing or even music.

It is a perceived sound; something someone hears that others do not. It can be very frustrating to the individual when they are the only one experiencing this irritating sound.

For some, it is a constant noise that never goes away; for others, it is experienced only in certain environments.  Tinnitus can cause psychological stress to many.   

It’s almost like when the sound of the TV in the background is irritating, but others don’t notice it – but far worse!  

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus varies from person to person.  Most people experience subjective tinnitus, or tinnitus only they can hear

In the US, it affects 32% of the population and increases to 70%-85% among those who have a hearing impairment.

While scientists claim that there is “no cure,” audiologists have spent a lot of time researching tinnitus and the relationship it has between the ears and the brain.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Most patients are surprised to know that tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom of something else going on in the body.

When patients come into our clinic, we always start with a conversation about their lifestyle.  We discuss any added or undue stress in their life.

From what we know about tinnitus, it increases with stress and alcohol.  When we understand a bit more about the patient, we can determine what treatment is going to work best for them.

In most cases, tinnitus is caused by hearing loss to some degree. Some theories, such as the central gain theory, interpret tinnitus as the sounds the brain makes to compensate for the lack of sound.

For example, the ears no longer hear certain frequencies as a result of hearing loss, so the brain makes those noises up to replace them.

What is tinnitus? cta banner

Our Tinnitus Assessment

To help us pinpoint the exact cause of each patient’s tinnitus, we perform an expert tinnitus assessment to help us understand a bit more about how each person has gotten to where they are.

As tinnitus is mostly a result or symptom of hearing loss, we start off with a hearing evaluation to pinpoint the degree of hearing loss. Sometimes, hearing aids can be a great solution to tinnitus, but it all depends on each patient’s unique circumstances.

Hearing aids work to replace that sound. This allows the body to relax and not create a compensatory sound.

After fitting the devices, we monitor responses over time to ensure that each person receives appropriate relief from their tinnitus.

In addition, we also like to give our patients a tinnitus reaction questionnaire, depending on what the patient’s needs are, so we can track where they were before and how they are progressing after treatment.

It’s all part of ensuring each person feels supported throughout the journey and can achieve the best possible outcome alongside some of the most experienced audiologists in North Houston.

Helping You Live a Stress-Free Life

While tinnitus may be one of the most unbearable conditions to endure, the good news is that there are ways to prevent it from ruling your life.

Backed by many years of experience, our experts can help to relieve tinnitus, allowing you to get back to doing the things you love.

If you or a loved one would like to take the first step toward tinnitus relief, then feel free to get in touch with a member of our team today at 281-444-9800.

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Dr. Lacey Brooks, CCC-A, FAAA - Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Lacey Brooks received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry in 2003, and earned her Doctorate of Audiology in 2009. She completed her clinical internships and residency at various facilities within Houston Medical Center. Dr. Brooks is a preferred provider for the American Institute of Balance (ABI), a professional member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA) and is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also the vice president of the Louisiana State University Houston Chapter Alumni Association. In addition to her years of experience identifying, diagnosing and treating all types and degrees of hearing loss, and vestibular disorders, Dr. Brooks has spent the last 13 years becoming an expert in Tinnitus management and therapy. Dr. Brooks is also one of the few providers in the country certified for Lyric Implantable Devices. For over seven years, Dr. Brooks successfully ran and operated more than six audiology clinics for one of the largest practices in the state of Texas before joining the North Houston Hearing Solutions team in 2016. Dr. Brooks prides herself on providing her patients with the highest quality of care. She loves her patients dearly and feels so fortunate that she gets to help improve their daily lives. This love, combined with her impressive skill set, business experience and passion for helping people hear has made Dr. Lacey Brooks a wonderful addition to the North Houston Hearing Solutions’ team. When not at the office, Dr. Brooks enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, family, and friends. Dr. Brooks is also very involved in her church and with mission work in her community and abroad.

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