Our ears are the gateway to speech, music and the sounds of nature but they also bring damaging noise into our lives and can cause us pain and problems. Hearing loss increases with age and is caused by everyday things like lawn mowers, road construction, and even loud TV or radio broadcasts — all as the various parts of the ear become less responsive. Further, ear infections that inflame the middle ear because of bacteria from fluid build-up behind the eardrum can not only be painful but also present other complications. Our clinic is dedicated to helping you find the exact problem you have and then crafting a solution.
The research at the government-funded National Institutes of Health and other public-private and university programs is constantly yielding new insight into these age-old problems. New technology and tools are also always in development. Our commitment to you is to keep you in-the-know about the latest developments in all of the ear-related health areas. Once you feel you’ve learned what you can here, our specialists would love to meet with you and listen to your unique symptoms.
Tinnitus is defined as involuntary noise originating inside the head. It can be described as buzzing, chirping, ringing or humming, intermitten or constant, loud or soft. 10-15% of the world’s population suffers from these unwanted sounds which can be so intrusive as to interfere with work, sleep and general well-being.
When you see your doctor she or he will want to interview you about your symptoms and examine the ear to find the cause. You might be given a hearing test, CT scan, MRI scan or auditory brain stem response analysis. Depending on your specific diagnosis and condition your doctor could give you a prescription to help with the symptoms and solve the root problem, or prescribe home treatment. These options are behavioral and lifestyle changes such as less alcohol, smoking and loud environments. Regular exercise might also help increase blood flow to your ears, and help you recover more quickly.
Preventing tinnitus is the best step. If you are worried about the symptoms associated with ringing in the ear then follow some simple steps. Protect your hearing: while at work make sure environmental noises are shielded. At home don’t listen to the television of stereo too loudly. Another helpful suggestion is to avoid using Q-Tips as they can put unnecessary pressure on the sensitive organs of your hearing.
There are many pratical solutions for helping our patients who suffer from tinnitus. Reducing caffeine, sodium and stress are some examples of helpful ways to manage your tinnitus. Many people find that avoiding quiet environments is helpful for reducing their disturbance from tinnitus. Classical music, talk radio, audio books, environmental sound machines/apps, running a fan have also been useful.
Patients should avoid things that make their tinnitus worse such as smoking, alcohol and loud noise. Wearing custom hearing protection or ear muffs in loud environments can help protect your hearing as well as prevent your tinnitus from getting worse.
Many patients who also experience hearing loss may benefit from a combination instrument (both a hearing aid and sound generator). This type of device works to amplify sounds necessary to help a patient hear their best while producing a customized sound during quiet times in order to help the patient avoid fixation on the ringing sound they hear.
Our audiologists at SoundLogic specialize in helping these patient with tinnitus and hearing loss and offer solutions that are specific to each individual’s concerns. With today’s technology and wireless features, many creative solutions (i.e. music, streaming different apps from your mobile device) can benefit patients with tinnitus. Often times tinnitus treatment is a collaborative effort with other professionals to maximize success.
Our physicians and audiologists are trained to not only help rule out serious causes for your tinnitus but also to help you manage your tinnitus. While we still do not have a cure for tinnitus, there are several options available to help minimize your tinnitus. Some patients with tinnitus can be treated or managed with medication or relaxation techniques. For those with more debilitating tinnitus, we have several options which include hearing devices with tinnitus maskers and tinnitus therapy.
Our audiologists are members of a network of tinnitus providers, who collaborate to provide relief to patients with debilitating tinnitus. Hearing devices with built-in tinnitus maskers are combined with tinnitus education and tinnitus sound therapy to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. The hearing devices are dispensed and programmed by SoundLogic audiologists, and the education and counseling services are provided via teleaudiology by Tinnitus Treatment Solutions. This is an option that has not previously been available in East Texas and we are proud to partner with Tinnitus Treatment Solutions to better serve our tinnitus patients.