Tinnitus known as ringing sound in the ear. It is specifically defined as sensation of noise in the ear that caused by bodily condition (as a disturbance of the auditory nerve or wax in the ear) typically in subjective form which can only be heard by the one affected (Merriam-Webster.com). Approximately 50 million US adults reported having any tinnitus, and 16 million US adults reported having frequent tinnitus in the past year. The prevalence of frequent tinnitus increased with increasing age, peaking at 14.3% between 60 and 69 years of age (Shargorodsky.J et. Al 2010). This showed tinnitus affecting people with increasing of age and it is important to take steps in treating it or prevent it. Tinnitus can be cause by problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound (auditory pathways). Some of activities can be caused by exposure to noise activities such as shooting activities, attending concert or listening to loud music. Study had showed that having to hear ringing and buzzing sound in the ear may cause fatigue, stress, sleep deprivation, trouble concentrating, depression and anxiety. Therefore, various tinnitus treatment strategies were invented and clinically tested to reduce the loudness of the tinnitus.
American Tinnitus Association stated that there are presently no FDA-approved drugs specifically for tinnitus cure, and no medications that have been shown to reverse the neural hyperactivity at the root of tinnitus. Drugs cannot cure tinnitus, but they may provide relief from some severe tinnitus symptoms for example anti-depressant drug related. Several tinnitus treatment option has been introduced however it is important to understand that these currently available treatments are not “cures” — they neither repair the underlying causes of tinnitus, nor eliminate the tinnitus signal in the brain. Instead, they address the attentional, emotional, and cognitive impact of tinnitus. Instead of regard as tinnitus cure, it will help patients live better, more fulfilling, and more productive lives, even if the perception of tinnitus remains.
In order to fulfill the desire to reduce the sound in the ear, another sound was introduced to mask the tinnitus. This known as sound therapies. Sound therapies can be introduced in wearable device such as hearing aids or non-wearable device (eg. Table-top sound machine). The sound aims to reduce loudness of the tinnitus sound and distract or divert the attention of the listener from their tinnitus sound. Based on study conducted by Sergei. K et al (2008) regarding Tinnitus treatment and the effectiveness of hearing aid about 60% hearing aid wearer claimed that the tinnitus sound has been reduce when using it and about 22% claimed hearing aid provide major relief of their tinnitus. This showed hearing aid can help reducing the tinnitus sound for the wearer.
Additional therapies such as psychological therapist that include on changing your behavior towards the sound of tinnitus (Cognitive Behavior Modification) and relaxation therapy using soft music or biofeedback in aiming to provide relaxing effects on the tinnitus sufferers. Up until now several studies has been conducted to introduced new medication, applications of existing medication and even supplements. It is likely something will be found soon. Most of the tinnitus sound remain in person’s life but for some instance it can get worsen or it will improve over time. More studies underway to help the tinnitus sufferers.