Tinnitus: The missing piece to researching solutions

By Dr. Anne Simon

December 12, 2016

Tinnitus (Pronounced “ti-NIGHT-us” or “TINN-a-tus,” either will do) refers to any sound without an external stimulus. It is real and has been mapped in the human brain.

First, if you have ringing in your ears, or there is a recent change in either the pitch, volume, or experience of the tinnitus, you should get a comprehensive audiologic evaluation to rule out a serious issue.

That being said, for the vast majority of tinnitus sufferers (nearly 50 million in the US alone), tinnitus is found in the interaction between the hearing organ (cochlea) and the auditory cortex of the brain.

My office gets many calls inquiring about various methods to cure tinnitus: sound remedies, ear drops, a variety of ‘natural’ remedies. I see this as a good sign because people are doing their research. The problem with these options is their ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Some may find relief. Others may be frustrated by their lack of relief.

The missing part of research into any solution is the interaction between the cochlea and the auditory cortex that occurs within the individual. Think of this as a map. If relief from tinnitus is the destination, you can’t choose a route if you don’t know from where you are starting.

The starting point is a picture of your hearing system—a comprehensive audiologic evaluation. With a clear picture of how your cochlea is sending signals to the auditory cortex in your brain, it is much easier to identify the solution(s) that will work best for you.

If you are suffering from tinnitus, hearing evaluation is your first best step.

Get started by calling us at 208-746-7022, or complete the Get Started form on the right (or below if you are accessing this page on mobile).

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