Duke audiologists provide comprehensive evaluation and management options to people who experience tinnitus, the perception of sound heard in the ears, or inside the head that is not from an outside source.
Comprehensive care for tinnitus symptoms
Our specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating people with tinnitus, a condition often described as ringing, chirping, buzzing, hissing, whistling, or humming sounds in the ears. According to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) over 50 million people experience tinnitus and approximately 12 to 15 million people seek medical treatment for their tinnitus. Of this, two million people have tinnitus that is characterized as debilitating.
If you have hearing loss, you may also experience tinnitus. Tinnitus may be a temporary symptom of a physical problem, such as wax buildup. It may also result from allergies, tumors, heart problems, and problems with your jaw, such as TMJ, and neck issues. Or, tinnitus may be a side effect of certain medications. Our audiologists conduct a thorough evaluation of your tinnitus and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your condition. While there is currently no cure for tinnitus, there are several approaches that provide relief. Our goal is to reduce tinnitus awareness and disturbance and improve your quality of life.
We work closely with you to explain the causes and effects of tinnitus, and what you need to do to prevent and minimize it.
May be recommended if you experience hearing loss along with tinnitus. Hearing aids with a tinnitus feature are combination devices that help improve your ability to hear while also reducing tinnitus.
A form of sound therapy that uses music to decrease or loudness or prominence of tinnitus. It is an FDA-cleared, patented, clinically proven medical device for tinnitus that offers documented long-term medical benefit. Therapy using modified music to address the neurological processes of tinnitus is customized to your audiological profile.
The 90-minute appointment involves a questionnaire, measures of tinnitus, and counseling to determine how to manage your condition. Objective measures involving auditory matching of the tinnitus pitch and loudness will be performed. Masking techniques (i.e., attempting to cover your tinnitus with other sounds) will be used to determine if sound therapy is an option for reducing tinnitus awareness and disturbance.
If you have not undergone a comprehensive hearing test within the last six months, you will undergo an updated hearing test, which includes the measurement of ultra-high frequency hearing thresholds.