Tinnitus

Ear, Nose & Throat Care, PC

ENT Specialists and Allergy Specialists located in Somerset County, Somerville, NJ, Bridgewater Township, Hillsborough Township & Warren, NJ

Over 50 million Americans experience tinnitus or ringing in the ears at some point. If your tinnitus is persistent or severe, the ENT experts at Ear, Nose & Throat Care, PC, can help. At their offices in Somerville and Warren, New Jersey, the doctors can diagnose and treat the identifiable causes of this troubling condition and ease the burden of living with tinnitus that has no apparent reason. For relief from the constant, sourceless noise present when you have tinnitus, call Ear, Nose & Throat Care, PC, to schedule a consultation today.

Tinnitus Q & A

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a disorder where you can hear sounds when there's no external source of the noise. Occasionally hearing phantom sounds is a common occurrence, but for some people, tinnitus is constant or so severe that it seriously impairs their quality of life.

You might hear a ringing, whistling, squealing, or roaring sound some or all of the time when you have bothersome or persistent tinnitus. Some people experience beating or pulsing noises. You might have some hearing loss as well, but that's not always the case.

Tinnitus is a symptom rather than a disease. It means there's something not right about the way your hearing's working. If you have primary tinnitus, there's no apparent reason for the sounds you’re hearing. If you have secondary tinnitus, it means there's a problem in your ears.

What causes secondary tinnitus?

Excessive ear wax and middle ear infections are the more common reasons to develop secondary tinnitus. More unusually, you might develop otosclerosis, in which the ear bones (ossicles) harden, or muscle spasms affecting the tiny muscles in your middle ear.

Some types of head trauma can lead to tinnitus, as can a benign tumor called a vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma). Pulsatile tinnitus – where you hear sounds that could be your heartbeat or pulse – could be a sign of cardiovascular disease.

Damage to the minuscule sensory hair cells in your inner ear can lead to tinnitus and hearing loss. One way that many people damage these special cells is through overexposure to noise. That could be to blaring music, machinery, engine noise, or anything that's excessively loud.

Some over-the-counter and prescription medications can damage the sensory hair cells, too. Tinnitus is more common in older people and more likely to affect you if you have conditions like fatigue, depression, insomnia, or anxiety.

What are the treatments for tinnitus?

If you've had tinnitus for less than six months, there's a good chance the condition will get better on its own. However, if your tinnitus is severe or persistent, you should consult the doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Care, PC.

If they can find a cause for your tinnitus, then treating the underlying condition should resolve it. For example, your provider could remove excess or impacted ear wax, prescribe antibiotics for a bacterial infection, or treat a small vestibular schwannoma using stereotactic radiotherapy or radiosurgery.

Other potential treatments for tinnitus include sound therapies that use background music or specialized ear-level maskers to hide the noise of tinnitus. Some patients benefit from wearing hearing aids with or without built-in ear-level maskers. 

If your tinnitus has a severe effect on your quality of life, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you adapt to your condition.

If the constant noise in your ears is making you miserable, call the doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Care, PC, or book an appointment online today.

*Video testimonial from one of Dr. Bortniker's patients below: