Imagine trying to fall asleep every night with the sound of a roaring motor or high-pitched whistle playing in your ears. For many of the more than 25 million Americans who experience tinnitus — or ringing in their ears — this is a reality.
It is no wonder that these “phantom sounds” can lead to anxiety, annoyance, concentrationproblems, depression, fear, stress, and sleep disturbances. For those with tinnitus, there have been few clinically viable and effective treatments in the past. Most patients are told that “there’s nothing you can do about it,” or that they will “just have to learn to live with it.”
Dr. Ann Rasmussen, a tinnitus expert and an Audiologist at Decibels, explains that, “Audiologists hold Masters or Doctoral degrees from accredited universities. They are highly trained, must complete a full-time internship, and must pass a national competency examination as required by their state. By virtue of their graduate education and professional certification, Audiologists are the most qualified to evaluate and treat hearing loss and tinnitus.”
Dr. Rasmussen is no stranger to hearing loss and tinnitus. She lives with tinnitus herself, and she treats several members of her close family for hearing loss, including her sister and her daughter.
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Approximately 90% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. Both conditions involve the ear and the brain. Untreated hearing loss can lead to more than tinnitus — it can leave you without the ability to understand speech.
How Do Tinnitus Devices Work?
The new tinnitus devices available allow the Audiologists at Decibels to treat just tinnitus, just hearing loss, or both at the same time with one type of device. Computer software allows our Audiologists to customize devices for patients.
Not everyone with tinnitus needs tinnitus therapy; some find that correcting their hearing with a hearing aid will alleviate tinnitus. This is why tinnitus evaluation is so important. There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. The goal of tinnitus therapy, though, is habituation, or the process of “ignoring” a stimulus without exerting any conscious effort.
Tinnitus treatment involves several steps, including an initial interview, a hearing test, and a tinnitus evaluation. From there, the Audiologist and the patient establish a treatment plan and tinnitus therapy can begin.
How Much Does It Cost?
A device that can correct hearing and incorporate tinnitus therapy begins at $4000 for a pair and goes up from there, depending on the level of technology the patient requires. High end, extremely sophisticated devices can be as much as $7000 a pair. The more sophisticated the device, the more precisely a patient will be able to function in challenging environments, such as restaurants or parties.
Tinnitus doesn’t have to frustrate or annoy you anymore! As an audiology-based practice, we have university trained Audiologists and the best technology to help you! Give us a call or contact us to schedule a free consultation.