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What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is an abnormal perception of a sound reported by a patient but is unrelated to an external source of stimulation. Tinnitus is a very common disorder affecting over 50 million people in the United States. It may be intermittent, constant or fluctuant, mild or severe, and may vary from a low roaring sensation to a high pitched type of sound. It is often referred to as “ringing in the ears,” although some people hear hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones. Its’ perceived volume can range from very soft to extremely loud. It may or may not be associated with a hearing loss. It is also classified further into subjective tinnitus (a noise perceived by the patient alone) or objective (a noise perceived by the patient as well as by another listener). Subjective tinnitus is common; however, objective tinnitus is relatively uncommon. The location of tinnitus may be in the ear(s) and/or in the head.

How many people have it? 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree. Of these, about 12 million have tinnitus which is severe enough to seek medical attention. Of those, about two million patients are so seriously debilitated by their tinnitus, they cannot function on a “normal,” day-to-day basis.

What causes of Tinnitus?

The exact cause (or causes) of tinnitus is not known in every case. There are, however, several likely factors which may cause tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse: noise-induced hearing loss, wax build-up in the ear canal, certain medications, ear or sinus infections, age-related hearing loss, ear diseases and disorders, jaw misalignment, cardiovascular disease, certain types of tumors, thyroid disorders, head and neck trauma and many others. Of these factors, exposure to loud noises and hearing loss are the most common causes of tinnitus. Treating a hearing loss, either by medical management, if indicated, or with hearing aids, may offer relief of tinnitus 70% of the time. Neuromonics and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy are effective tinnitus treatments with proven success rates of 85%. If you have tinnitus, a comprehensive hearing evaluation by an audiologist, and a medical evaluation by an otologist is recommended.

Click here to learn more about Neuromonics.

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CSG
Better Hearing Center

31 Panoramic Way, FL 1
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
Phone: (925) 588-7113
Fax: (925) 938-7473

Better Hearing Center
of Berkeley

2316 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: (510) 695-2498
Fax: (510) 845-0360

Better Hearing Center
of Palo Alto

480 Lytton Avenue, Suite 1
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: (650) 241-3000
Fax: (650) 322-2302

Better Hearing Center
of Monterey

665 Munras Avenue, Suite 103
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: (831) 648-1600
Fax: (831) 648-1700

Golden Gate
Hearing Services

1400 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: (415) 287-0509
Fax: (415) 931-1323


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