It’s uncomfortable. It has many causes. And it affects an astounding one in five Americans.
The affliction is tinnitus, and it’s when a person hears sounds when no actual sounds are present. The sounds can range from a ringing to a clicking to a hissing in the ears, and pretty much everything in between. The noises can be whisper soft to roaring loud, and they can appear in one or both ears.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
First things first: Tinnitus isn’t a condition so much as a symptom of another, deeper condition that then brings on tinnitus. Some common underlying conditions of tinnitus include:
Age-related hearing loss
Exposure to loud noises
Exposure to some medications
Ear and sinus infections
Certain medical conditions
Many people experience tinnitus at some point in their life—often, after attending a loud concert. Those cases usually tend to go away relatively quickly, while other people experience tinnitus as a chronic condition. While there are many causes of tinnitus, doctors unfortunately are unable to pinpoint where a patient’s tinnitus comes from 80% of the time.
Needless to say, tinnitus is no fun for those who suffer from it. People afflicted by it call it everything from annoying to unbearable, and it can make it hard to hear others, work, and sleep.
How tinnitus is diagnosed
If you suspect you have tinnitus, it’s best to get an official diagnosis from a medical professional. A doctor can perform a variety of tests, which could include a hearing test and imaging tests like CT or MRI scans.
Your doctor might also ask you to describe the kinds of noises you’re hearing. The kinds of sound (or sounds) you hear could pinpoint the underlying cause of your tinnitus.
Help for tinnitus sufferers
If you suffer from tinnitus, you’ve no doubt wondered how to cure tinnitus. Right now, there is no drug that can cure tinnitus. However, there are tools that can help tinnitus sufferers. They include:
Treating an underlying vascular condition
Stopping or reducing the dosage of certain drugs
Taking certain prescriptions that help reduce the severity of tinnitus
Removing built up earwax
Cutting back on alcohol (booze dilates your blood vessels, which increases the force of your blood as if flows through your vessels)
Reducing stress levels
Reducing your intake of caffeine, loud noises, and nicotine
Experimenting with alternative medicine such as acupuncture, hypnosis, and vitamin supplements
Trying out a hearing aid
Sound therapy and SleepPhones can offer help for tinnitus sufferers
It’s sounds counterintuitive that sound could help someone who has ringing in his or her ears, but sound therapy can offer help for tinnitus sufferers.
Sound therapy's goal is to make tinnitus recede to the background of everything you're hearing and to reroute your emotional responses to the phantom sounds. You can absolutely use SleepPhones to deliver tinnitus relieving sound therapy in the most comfortable way possible. That's because we created SleepPhones to be the world’s most comfortable headphones for sleeping and relaxing. Our ultra thin headbands fit into a super soft fleece headband—which means no more bulky headphones or earbuds digging into your ear canal.
Unlike earbuds, SleepPhones don’t enter your ear at all. And this is a good thing when you consider that earbuds can cause some pretty nasty problems that could potentially make your tinnitus even worse. Because they fit into your ear, earbuds can cause ear wax impaction, outer ear infections such as otitis externa and swimmer’s ear, pressure ulcers and painful nodules in the cartilage of the ear, and external pressure headaches. Some medical professionals even think earbuds exacerbate hearing problems because they’re so close to your inner ear.
SleepPhones come in different styles to suit every taste and budget. The Classic version plugs into your device and costs $39.95, while the Wireless version connects to any Bluetooth-enabled device for $99.95. We also offer a new Effortless version that connects wirelessly and features no-fuss induction charnging. It normally retails for $149.95 and is on sale for $129.95 until May 1. Each version comes in a variety of colors, too.
Famous people who suffer from tinnitus
Young or old, rich or poor, male or female—tinnitus does not discriminate. In fact, some pretty high-profile people have suffered from tinnitus. Here are some of the famous people who suffer from tinnitus—not surprisingly, a large number of them are musicians.
Jeff Beck. The musician once had to cancel an appearance with Guns N’ Roses on account of his tinnitus.
Gerard Butler. The Scottish actor first noticed his tinnitus at the tender age of 10.
Eric Clapton. The legendary rocker recently revealed he, too, suffers from tinnitus.
Phil Collins. Loud drumming is behind the Genesis frontman’s tinnitus.
Bob Dylan. All those years of being around loud music are behind Dylan’s hearing problem.
Anthony Kiedis. Blame it on all those years performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Steve Martin. The beloved actor developed tinnitus as a result of a gun scene in Three Amigos.
Liza Minnelli. Strangely enough, the entertainer claims she developed tinnitus after her dad let forth a shout after she won an Oscar for her performance in Cabaret.
Ozzy Osbourne. He does hold the Guinness record for longest crowd scream, after all.
William Shatner. Standing too close to the speakers on the Stars Trek set brought on Shatner’s tinnitus.
Barbra Streisand. The entertainer has suffered from tinnitus since she was a girl.
Pete Townshend. The Who rocker’s exposure to a lifetime of loud music started when he attended what Guinness Book of World Records named the loudest concert ever.
Alex Trebeck. The longtime host of Jeopardy first admitted to suffering to tinnitus on live air with a guest who was an audiologist.
Will.i.am. The Black Eyed Peas is yet another musician who fell victim to tinnitus.
Neil Young. Tinnitus led the Canadian rocker to favor softer music starting in the 1990s.
Getting a handle on tinnitus
The important thing to remember is that there really is hope for tinnitus sufferers. Always talk to a trusted doctor first to get recommendations. If you both decide sound therapy could help, definitely consider investing in a pair of SleepPhones. No matter which one you choose, you’ll feel good knowing they’ll deliver soothing sounds in a comfortable and safe way so you can get the relief you need and deserve.