Talking Tinnitus with Dr. Ben: How to Stop Tinnitus? (Part 2)

– Hey, everyone. This is Dr. Ben. I'm an audiologist in California. I'm making another guest
video for Hearing Like Me, and the topic for this video
is how to stop tinnitus. (gentle music) Well, let me explain how to stop tinnitus. It's a common question. People ask, "How do I reduce tinnitus? How do I make it go away?" And it depends. Tinnitus is not a one size
fits all kind of condition. There's different kinds of tinnitus, and depending on the root
cause of your tinnitus, there's different ways to manage it. Let's go through the most
common situation first. So I'm a doctor of audiology, and I work with patients who
have hearing loss and tinnitus. Now, most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. So even if their main
problem might be tinnitus, they also have a secondary
concern of hearing loss.

So we would get a hearing
test and then determine, what is your level of hearing? What kind of pitch range can you hear, and what pitch range do
you need amplification or do you need help hearing? From that test result, we may or may not
recommend hearing devices. For example, Hearing Like Me is supported by Phonak, and that's one of the
hearing aid companies that make different hearing aids. So in that conversation, I might say, well, the best way to treat
your tinnitus would be to start with a hearing aid
system, hearing devices, that can address both your
primary concern of tinnitus and your secondary
concern of hearing loss. We would try that out first, and for most people, their tinnitus during the day when they're wearing hearing aids reduces significantly. Basically, there's this perception that your tinnitus is a noise, and that kind of sound, it appears louder, it's perceived as louder, if
there's no background sound.

When you have hearing loss, you have a quiet experience, right? You can't hear soft sounds. You can't hear distant sounds far away. So then, inside your head
in the auditory brain, the tinnitus is perceived as much louder. So one of the best ways to
manage and reduce tinnitus is not by reducing the sound itself, but by actually increasing
the amount of sound in the environment coming
through the auditory system, and in effect, that can make the tinnitus be perceived as much less bothersome. So there's sort of that
ratio, that comparison, and perceptively, that
can help tinnitus a lot. Unfortunately, there's not a way for
most kinds of tinnitus to completely get rid of it. It's typically an experience
that most people have of hearing some ringing sound when they're in a soft enough place. So for someone who also
has a hearing loss, that means their
experience is even softer, so the tinnitus gets even louder. For other kinds of tinnitus, it can be triggered by periods of psychological stress or anxiety, as well as physiological stress, tightness that we're holding in the body.

I'm a tinnitus therapist,
tinnitus consultant. I work with a lot of people
who are trying to figure out, how can they reduce their
tinnitus or, potentially, how can they stop their tinnitus? And this really involves getting down to the root cause of the issue. So for someone, it might be
hearing loss is the main cause. When we treat the hearing loss with hearing aids, hearing devices, the tinnitus can improve to the
point where the person says, "Okay, that's a lot better. I'm not really bothered
by my tinnitus anymore. Thank you." For another person, they may have a root cause of tinnitus from a period of intense stress, or another person may have tinnitus from a period of time where
they actually got an ear injury, like an ear infection or earwax.

So as you can see here,
there's various causes, and there's other causes I'm
not addressing right now. But depending on the
cause of the tinnitus, that gives the audiologist
or the ENT physician the confidence that the
treatment recommended will work for you. So if you're wondering, how
do you stop your tinnitus, well, first, you have to wonder, "Do I have hearing loss? Have I been going through
periods of high stress, high anxiety, in my life? How am I sleeping? How's my overall well-being?" All of these factors can
make tinnitus louder. So thanks for watching, and I hope that this
answered the question.

(gentle music).

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