What’s all the buzz?

Dusty Spitler

According to the American Tinnitus Association, 50 million Americans suffer from ringing in the ears.

What causes tinnitus?

Scientists and health experts don’t know the exact physical cause of tinnitus, but several sources are known to trigger or make it worse:

• Loud noises and hearing loss – Exposure to loud noises can destroy the non-regenerative cilia (tiny hairs) in the cochlea, causing permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.

• Ototoxic medications – Some prescription medications such as antibiotics, anti-infl ammatories and antidepressants are harmful to the inner ear.

• Health conditions – Tinnitus can also be a symptom of health conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stress and head injuries.

What should you do if you have tinnitus?

Maybe someone who loves you said it’s time, or maybe you decided to take control over your quality of life. If you’ve started your research on tinnitus and hearing technology, congratulations!

May we make one recommendation? Visit a hearing healthcare professional early in the process. A hearing professional has the experience and expertise to thoroughly test your ears, assess your unique needs, answer all your questions and concerns, and prescribe
a treatment for your specific needs that fit your lifestyle and budget.

Bring a family member or friend with you so the professional can counsel both of you on little tricks.

If treatment involves getting hearing devices, the advantage of getting them from your local hearing professional far outweigh any small cost savings you’d get buying them online, from a big-box store, or companies that advertise unbelievably low prices.

When someone speaks, your brain processes the sounds so that you can understand them. Th at’s call cognitive load. When someone has tinnitus or untreated hearing loss, the speech signals coming into their brain are degraded, so the brain has to work much harder to process them. When more brain resources are used for understanding sounds, or trying to ignore the buzz, other brain task such as memory and comprehension can suffer. Hearing is the partnership between your ears and your brain.

A Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported, “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”

Tinnitus and hearing is a challenge for many. Some believe it is just easier to keep ignoring it, will deny there might also be a hearing loss, or they tell themselves it is not worth the effort, or the cost is too much. Truth is, the effort and the cost is much greater if you do NOT take action.

Hearing technology with tinnitus management is improving at great strides. You want a professional you can trust and will take the time to listen to your needs. At A2Z Hearing, Dusty and Dee Spitler are part of our community, living in Prescott for 20 years, and they are certainly committed to helping you.