Tinnitus Cure? No, but you do have options! – Applied Hearing Solutions

– Hi guys, in this video
I'm going to tell you what causes tinnitus and the four things you need to know to treat it. (upbeat music) Cliff Olson here, doctor
of audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions. On this channel I cover a lot
of cool hearing related stuff, so if you're into that consider hitting the subscribe button. You can call it tinnitus,
you can call it tinnitus, whatever you want to call
it, it's the same thing. It's that ringing or buzzing in your ears that drives you crazy, especially when you're in a really quiet room.

Now 15% of the general
public has tinnitus, which is around 50 million Americans. There are two types of tinnitus, there's subjective tinnitus
and objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is
the most common one, it's tinnitus that you
can only hear yourself. Objective tinnitus is when
someone else can hear it as well. So what is tinnitus? Researchers aren't a hundred percent sure, but what they do is that it has a high correlation
with hearing loss. Which leads you to
believe that hearing loss is actually causing the tinnitus.

Yes, you're hearing
loss, whether you realize that you have a hearing loss
or not, is likely the cause of that ringing and
buzzing sound in your ears. Now they do know that some drugs, like chemotherapy
medications, things like that, can also cause tinnitus
or even make it worse. So this is how it works. Your brain is used to hearing
a certain amount of sound. Any time you have a hearing loss, it reduces the amount of
sound that gets to your brain. Your brain is constantly
searching for where the sound is and when it doesn't hear
it, it's like it turns up it's own internal amplifier, which to you, you perceive as a
ringing or buzzing sound. So how do you get rid of that annoying ringing and buzzing in your ears? Well there is four common ways. The first one is masking. Masking is essentially
listening to any sound that distracts you or masks
over that annoying sound of tinnitus that you hear. Some common ways you can
do this are using a fan.

Some people do this while
they go to sleep at night, they turn that fan on
so they can fall asleep. The second way is a white noise generator, something that you can plug into the wall and adjust what it sounds like. I'll have one linked in
the description down below. Another great tool is
the Starkey Relax app. All you have to do is go into
the app store on your phone. And install it, it shouldn't
take very long to install. Once you're in, it lets you
adjust the volume to a sound that is comfortable for you. Once you find that level
of sound, you hit next.

And you can start the demo session, where it shows you all of
the things that you can do. So we can make it louder
and more high-pitched. Louder, more soft-pitched. You can make it softer, more low-pitched. And softer, more high-pitched. And you can find that spot in
there that's the sweet spot, that masks over your tinnitus. So if that's it right there,
we can tap it to save. Now, we can also adjust
what type of sound it is. So we have like a wind sound. We have some chiming bells. We have some musical instrument. More musical instruments. Raindrops and ocean waves
and a little babbling brook. We can do some more things to
adjust the modulation of it, which is going up and down in intensity. You can make it go fast,
you can make it go slow.

You can turn it off and just
leave it at one steady state. You can put it on a timer,
so if you're using this to fall asleep, you can
say run it for 30 minutes and then shut off after
you've fallen asleep. And of course, you can continue to adjust the volume up or down. It gives you enough options
to essentially figure out which one masks over
your tinnitus the best. Starkey Relax is the name of the app. It's not the only app that's out there for masking your tinnitus. Neuromonics has come out with
the tinnitus alleviator app. I haven't used the Tinnitus
Alleviator app yet. It's something that is relatively new. But it works the same way,
it essentially masks over the tinnitus that you have
and reduces your focus on it, which can be extremely helpful to people who are very distracted by their tinnitus. The second thing you can do for tinnitus is to actually wear
hearing aids, like those. See the reason hearing aids work so well is because it reincorporates
sound back into your brain that you are not getting.

And if you reincorporate that
sound that tells your brain essentially that you can shut
down the internal amplifier that's causing that tinnitus sound. Around 60% of individuals
who wear hearing aids who have tinnitus experience
relief from that tinnitus. Now hearing aids have two
different effects on tinnitus. One, they can mask over the tinnitus. So there's a lot of hearing
aids out there right now that actually have tinnitus
maskers built in to them that your audiologist
can program to a level that is more comfortable for you. Not only do they have masking, but you can incorporate
relaxing sounds with it as well. Now the third way is habituation.

The whole concept behind
habituation is just getting your brain to accept the tinnitus without giving negative
emotions towards it. Your limbic system is
the system responsible for your emotional
response to things, okay. When you can get your
limbic system to be okay with that ringing and buzzing
sound, it no longer creates this stress response for you, which makes the tinnitus
much more tolerable.

One of the best ways to do this is with a company called Neuromonics. What Neuromonics does, is
they take the hearing test from your audiologist and
they customize a program for you that has music. And what you do is you
wear that periodically throughout the day and what
it's doing is it's playing music right at the level of your
tinnitus and it habituates your brain to get used to
it and be okay with it. All right, it's not that
it takes the tinnitus away, it just makes it so you don't have a negative emotional response to it. Now they've done research on Neuromonics and it is around 83%
effective for individuals at reducing the level of stress that they associate with their tinnitus. The only thing that I would
argue is potentially better is the use of hearing aids
to reincorporate that sound, so it essentially shuts down that creation of the tinnitus for you.

Now there is a fourth way and that fourth way is stress relief. Now they've done a lot
of research on tinnitus and one of the things that
it keeps coming back to is that when I'm more
stressed out, my tinnitus, I perceive it to be much louder. So when that happens, you need
to get your level of stress down so it can drop down that
perceived tinnitus level. Now that's easier said than done, because what's causing your
stress is just normal day to day issues at work, at home, is
that causing your stress? Or is it the issue that
you have a hearing loss that is stressing you out in
these different environments that you find yourself in
because you're not quite hearing at the level that you
should be hearing at. Whatever the reason for stress is, you need to find ways
to reduce that stress. I don't care if it's
going to get a massage, if it's doing deep breathing
exercises, whatever it is, you need to essentially find a way to reduce the stress in your life.

Now, the things that
we talked about before, using the masking app, using
hearing treatment in the form of hearing aids and doing
Neuromonics, all of these things, they provide you with
that emotional relief from that tinnitus strain
and what does that do? That reduces your stress as well. So those are the four
ways that I recommend that you treat your tinnitus, all right. There is no cure for tinnitus. But there is absolutely
effective treatments out there to reduce your perception of it and to reduce your stress
associated with it.

Now I have to address it. I always see advertisements, whether it's online or where ever. Any time you do a search for
tinnitus, you always find, oh you know use this
magical ear drop solution or take this vitamin to
reduce your tinnitus. None of those have been
proven to work, okay. I'm not saying that
they don't but research has not indicated that they do, all right. And everything that I teach my
patients is research backed. All right, and so you
can try it if you want. I'm not saying don't try it.

If you use it, the placebo
effect is extremely strong. So if you think it's going
to work, there's chance that you might convince yourself
that it is working for you. So, all right, what's the first step? The first step is going and
getting your hearing tested. All right, there is a small
portion of individuals who experience tinnitus
who have normal hearing. If that's the case, you'll
probably still get relief from these treatment
options that I've given you. So your first step is you
need to see an audiologist.

You have to get your hearing tested. Your audiologist will be able
to identify the intensity of your tinnitus and the
frequency which it's occurring at. Those are critical components
in order to develop a treatment plan that gets
you relief from your tinnitus. As always, if you have any
questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly
or leave me some comments in the comment section below. If you like the video,
please give me a thumbs up. If you haven't subscribed
already, consider doing so. And I'll see you next time..

You May Also Like