Personalized Hearing Care

5 Myths About Tinnitus

a woman experiencing ear discomfort

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is more common than many of us realize – and yet we think of it as a rare disorder. It isn’t – approximately 50 million Americans – that’s around 15% of the population – experience or as dealt with tinnitus in the past. Tinnitus, while not a life-threatening condition, can be very inconvenient and stressful for the person experiencing it. Seeing an audiologist, who can help diagnose and treat tinnitus, is a good idea for any patient who is experiencing symptoms that are affecting their quality of life. 

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what tinnitus is, who experiences it, and how to treat tinnitus. We’ve debunked a few of these below. 

1. Tinnitus is a disease

Many people mistakenly think that tinnitus is a disease, but that isn’t the case. Nor is it a condition, exactly. Tinnitus is actually a symptom of some other underlying issue. An audiologist can help diagnose what that issue is and plan a course of treatment based on that diagnosis. But tinnitus in itself is not a disease, disorder or condition. 

2. Untreated tinnitus can cause you to go deaf

While it is true that tinnitus can be caused by the same issue that is causing a person’s hearing loss, and can exist with hearing loss in the same patient, the two are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to have hearing loss with no history of tinnitus, just as it is possible to experience tinnitus without dealing with hearing loss. 

Experiencing tinnitus does not mean that you are going deaf or eventually will lose your hearing. While it’s possible that you may have hearing loss as a result of the same thing that is causing your tinnitus, the two are not always related. 

3. Tinnitus can’t be treated

This is also categorically untrue. Depending on the cause of the tinnitus, you likely can be treated for the underlying health condition or issue that is causing the tinnitus. Once that is treated, your tinnitus should gradually go away. To find out what is causing this pesky symptom, contact your audiologist to schedule a hearing test. While there is no official cure, there are numerous relief methods.

4. Tinnitus is a phony condition

We’ve all had those helpful people who like to convince us that our health conditions and experiences are over-exaggerated, or if they are real, can be treated with a mind over matter attitude. Tinnitus, however, is not just in your head. It’s a very real symptom, likely of an underlying health issue, that can cause severe stress and annoyance to the person experiencing it. Trying to rise above tinnitus with the power of thought, frankly, is ridiculous. You must seek medical treatment from an audiologist to combat the problem. 

While experiencing auditory hallucinations is a symptom of some mental illness, tinnitus is a wholly different thing all together and it definitely isn’t just a made-up or imagined affliction. 

5. There’s no need to treat tinnitus

There are plenty of folks who think they can just endure this or that symptom or illness, that what they are experiencing is no big deal and they’ll just power through. There’s plenty of reasons that people take this attitude: worry over medical expenses, stigma surrounding things like hearing loss and hearing issues, anxiety of healthcare providers and many other reasons. 

But the truth is, tinnitus, while not life-threatening, can impact your quality of life, especially if you deal with it for long periods of time. Experiencing a constant ringing in the ears is more than just annoying – it can cause very real mental and physical stress, make you irritable, affect your sleep and balance and cause you a great deal of anxiety and worry. There is no reason why you should deal with that experience long-term if you don’t have to. Contacting an audiologist to get a hearing test and diagnose and figure out how to treat your tinnitus will greatly impact your quality of life for the better. You don't have to live with tinnitus. You can treat it. Your audiologist can even go over payment plans and affordable courses of treatment if money is a concern. 

These are just a few myths surrounding tinnitus that are false; there are quite a few more floating around out there. Ignore the hype, the misinformation and the myth and be proactive in treating your tinnitus so you can have better quality of life. It starts by contacting your audiologist to discuss your symptoms. The team at Lowe Audiology can help; learn more by contacting them today at 260-222-7925. Relief is out there!