If so, you are not alone as 1 in 5 adults suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is any sound in the ears but it is most commonly described as ringing and it can range in severity from mild to debilitating.  It is important to discuss tinnitus with your primary care physician and have a comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist to determine if it is a symptom of a serious health condition.  One of the best strategies for people who suffer from tinnitus is to avoid complete silence with low background noise.
  
Most tinnitus patients will say they notice it the most when trying to go to sleep at night and the house is quiet. There are a number of free apps that can be downloaded that generate soothing sounds to help with mild cases of tinnitus.  Relax Melodies is one example of a free app that many find useful as background noise when trying to fall asleep.  There are many sound choices including fan noise, ocean sounds, and rain that can be played at a low level to provide distraction from the sounds in your ears.  This is a good solution for individuals with mild tinnitus but more severe tinnitus often requires a combination of coping strategies that can be discussed with your audiologist.        

This blog was written by Krista Follmer, AuD, Audiologist with The Outer Banks Hospital. If you feel the need to discuss tinnitus or any other issues, please contact her office, Outer Banks Ear, Nose & Throat, at 252-449-5760. For more information, visit the Ear, Nose & Throat services page.

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