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Ringing in the New Year?

By January 3, 2013 Hearing Loss

Do it without ringing in your ears…

If you’re one of the 36 million Americans who suffer from annoying ringing in the ears, you might be suffering from tinnitus or abnormal ear noise. In almost all cases, you’re the only one hearing the noise. It could be chirping, whistling, buzzing, or ringing—high pitched or low pitched.

But the good news is—tinnitus is very common and there is something you can do about it.

You can start by making an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) like Dr. Ted Benke of Benke ENT Clinic in Cleburne. Dr. Benke starts by looking at your medications and making sure there’s not an underlying medical issue causing the tinnitus.

Once Dr. Benke rules out any medicine or medical issue, he will schedule you to see our university-trained Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) to see if you’re experiencing hearing loss, because often hearing loss is the reason for tinnitus.

“We narrow it down and then talk to the patient about their options to make tinnitus easier to live with,” Benke said.  “If it’s just from hearing loss, there’s no total cure for it, but we can work with the patient to give them strategies for living with it—to make it more bearable.

“One of the best ways is with a hearing device, which may seem odd, because the patient thinks the sound is in their ear, but it’s really in their brain. With a hearing device, we re-introduce those sounds to the brain again and give your brain something else to listen to so you don’t notice the tinnitus as much.

“Some of the devices even have sound generators that produce white noise, which over time has been shown to reduce the irritation caused by tinnitus.”

Our audiologist recalls  “one patient who was so stressed out over the ringing in her ears that she couldn’t sleep. She came to see me in tears, because it was so bad. She ended up getting the hearing device that created white noise, and she came back six months later and was almost a different person. She said the combination of the hearing device and talking to someone helped her deal with her tinnitus.”

In many cases the hearing device is enough to make the patient’s tinnitus more bearable.

“In some cases, we need to add the hearing aid with a customizable tinnitus sound generator to give you a tailored solution.”

If you’ve been living with abnormal ear noise or tinnitus and don’t want to live with it anymore, call Benke ENT today for an appointment and to schedule a complete diagnostic hearing test.

They offer free hearing screening when you call the Audiology and Hearing Center at Benke ENT at 817-641-3750. Their office is located at 1317 Glenwood Drive, next to Dr. Michael Glover’s dentist office.

Benke ENT accepts most insurances and Medicare.