La Grande’s Most Trusted Tinnitus Experts
Tinnitus is the technical name for the sounds you can hear, which others cannot. Sometimes the sounds may feel like they are coming from your ears, your head, or your body.
It has been described as ringing, hissing, humming, static, buzzing, music, rushing, whooshing, or people talking or mumbling.
Surprisingly, tinnitus is very common. Millions of people report having some degree of tinnitus. Whether after attending a loud concert or working at a building site, almost everyone experiences it from time to time.
It is estimated to affect 32% of the US population, according to National Center for Health Statistic studies, and only a small proportion of this figure actively seeks out ways to reduce its severity.
Erika and her staff are well beyond AMAZING! Everyone there treats you more like a friend rather than a patient . I just received my new hearing aids and they are absolutely awesome. I’m hearing sounds I haven’t heard in a long time. The best thing is when you have an appointment you will never feel rushed or pushed thru. I just can’t say enough good things about these people. I will not go anyplace else. I highly recommend Erica and her staff. If this had a rating of 100 stars I would rate them at 100. It don’t get any better than right here.
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Q: What are the common signs of tinnitus?
Many of my patients are shocked to find out that tinnitus is not the disease process; it is a symptom or sign of another underlying disease, insult, or injury in or around the ear space or head.
This can be something as simple as a hair on the eardrum, earwax, or fluid in the middle ear, to something as complex as an acoustic trauma, a vestibular disorder, or even a growth along one of the cranial nerves.
Q: What are the causes of tinnitus?
People can get tinnitus for a number of reasons. Some are as simple as dehydration or lack of good sleep, whereas more complex reasons may be trauma to the auditory nerve or central pathology.
Some of the other common tinnitus triggers that can cause or increase tinnitus include:
· Marijuana (both THC and CBD)
· NSAIDS (including aspirin and ibuprofen)
It is important to note that the exact causes of tinnitus are hard to pinpoint, and each person will experience tinnitus differently.
The best way to tackle your tinnitus is to seek help from a medical professional who is trained in audiology and tinnitus management.
Q: Is there a cure for tinnitus?
As tinnitus is the symptom of something else happening in the body, if we are able to address the root issue, then typically the tinnitus will resolve on its own.
For example, if your tinnitus is caused by earwax pushing on the eardrum, once the earwax is removed, then the tinnitus may begin to fade away over time with very little intervention.
However, there are pathologies that impact the ear that cannot be cured and as a result, we are unable to “cure” the resulting tinnitus, so instead we shift to managing the tinnitus.
An example of this is an acoustic trauma. We do not currently have a means for reversing the damage done to the ear from noise exposure or blast injuries.
In these cases, we need to manage the damage done and manage the additional symptoms of the damage, which could be hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or any auditory processing issues.
Q: Can hearing aids help tinnitus?
Let’s face it, there are a lot of hearing aids out there that market “tinnitus function” as the silver bullet solution to eliminating tinnitus. At Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates, we call them “on ear sound generators.”
These can be set as an ear level masking unit to be used in conjunction with sound therapy, tinnitus retraining, or to achieve minimum masking levels.
However, these should not be implemented outside of a guided tinnitus management plan and the care of a licensed provider that has tinnitus management within their clinical scope of practice.
In fact, if used incorrectly, sound generators can actually make symptoms worse.
Our Tinnitus Management
The good news is that our tinnitus management program is one of the most trusted and valued options for tinnitus relief in La Grande and the surrounding areas.
It’s a customized program designed to the unique needs of the individual. In some instances, the program will include necessary devices and equipment to manage the tinnitus.
In the event that there is an underlying hearing loss, we will start with managing the hearing loss so that we can maximize the benefits of the other therapies or plan that will be incorporated in your overall program.
The plan can range anywhere between 3-12 months, allowing us to directly manage your tinnitus and work toward reducing its severity. This program is included in our All-Inclusive Hearing Management Plan. Separately, it can be purchased for $3800.
Please note that this price does not include hearing aids or devices intended to manage hearing loss. Most insurances do not cover tinnitus management but may cover portions of the evaluations that are performed as part of your plan.
La Grande’s Most Trusted Tinnitus Experts
Why us? Well, audiologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and manage tinnitus like no other.
Erika Shakespeare, the owner of Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates, has been through extensive training in a variety of tinnitus management strategies and programs over the years.
Each year, she participates in intensive training events specifically for the management of tinnitus, as well as being part of several tinnitus organizations.
In Oregon, it is against the law for a hearing instrument specialist to manage tinnitus.
By choosing Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates, you get to work with a licensed audiologist to work manage your hearing loss and and your tinnitus.
It’s the best way to prioritize your hearing, ensuring your tinnitus can be successfully managed and you can continue to live the life you love.
What Should I do Next?
If you’re concerned about your tinnitus, the first step is to start with a visit to an audiologist for a diagnostic hearing evaluation. This allows us to get a baseline of your ear and hearing status.
You should make sure to let the office know that you are experiencing tinnitus so that we can arrange for the additional diagnostic tools and time to be available to help us make better decisions on management and treatment options.
If you have had an evaluation of your ears and hearing within the last year, then request a tinnitus evaluation and make sure we know where to request your previous test results from.
After that, the rest is in our hands!