With COVID still posing a risk to residents of Baltimore and surrounding communities, it’s important we have all the information to continue to stay safe.
I have returned to the airwaves to help educate and inform everyone on how this all affects your hearing and what you can do to protect it.
In this episode, I discuss the relationship between tinnitus and COVID specifically based on my first-hand experience working as a hearing healthcare professional.
Prefer to read rather than listen? Below is a transcript for you!
Silence Is Not Golden
This has been our mantra at Audiology Associates, and it means more now than ever. We see an increase in cases of tinnitus, as patients are suffering more and more from a ringing in their ears. This has especially increased since the start of COVID, and it still persists even with vaccines rolling out rapidly.
Sometimes it’s brought on by stress, so with the addition of COVID and vaccines, we can’t really predict who is more susceptible to and more likely to get tinnitus.
We are taking great care when seeing patients try and pinpoint where their specific cases originated from. We take the time to thoroughly go through a patient’s history to try and identify a correlation between their tinnitus and COVID or vaccines.
We monitor new tinnitus patients very closely to observe their progress. This gives us data to help future patients deal with symptoms.
As of right now, there is no difference in hearing loss symptoms from one vaccine to another. We are keeping a close eye on it, though.
A common symptom of tinnitus due to COVID or vaccines is that it only occurs in one ear. Not in every case but a strong majority display this trait.
Does Tinnitus Go Away?
It tends to bother new patients a lot more since they are new to the sensation, and we are sympathetic to this issue. We try to fast-track the treatment process to provide relief as soon as possible.
I wish I could wave my wand and get rid of tinnitus, but unfortunately, there is no magic pill that cures it as of right now. However, we can manage it and have been doing so with our patients for years.
What Treatments Are There For Tinnitus?
We have many ways to treat and manage tinnitus so each patient can still enjoy a comfortable listening experience without the constant sound of tinnitus.
People with any kind of hearing loss are at a high risk of developing tinnitus since the brain is not receiving its normal dose of sound stimulation.
Tinnitus is produced by the brain and not the ear. Knowing this alone gives us many options for treatment.
- Sometimes just getting hearing aids reduces the effects of tinnitus. By reintroducing sounds that your brain hasn’t heard in a while, it can stop producing the ringing sound. The hearing aids will allow for more stimulation for the brain, which is what it requires to be healthy.
- Hearing aids can also come equipped with tinnitus maskers. If your condition is more severe, then the hearing aid will actually play a “white noise” constantly. This feeds your brain the distraction it needs while you can still listen normally through the hearing aid’s regular functions. Although a bit weird at first, it takes only minutes or up to an hour to get used to as your brain accepts the change in sound.
- Most hearing aids have apps associated with them as well. These connect directly to your Apple or Android phone and provide some pretty nice features. One of which is the ability to adjust your tinnitus masking sound. So, if you are in a place that is agitating your tinnitus, you can increase the volume of the “white noise” for relief.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, then we encourage you to come in for a hearing assessment. These are non-invasive and will give us the information we need to help you. We have 12 locations throughout the Greater Baltimore area and are always here to help whenever silence is not golden.