What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not a disease or illness. It is a symptom generated within the auditory system and usually caused by an underlying condition. The noise may be in one or both ears, or it may feel like it is in the head. The sensations can be constant or intermittent, can fluctuate in volume, and it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact location of the noise. It may be low, medium, or high pitched and can be heard as a single noise or as multiple components.

In some rare cases, tinnitus patients report hearing music. Tinnitus can be both an acute (temporary) condition or a chronic health malady. The variety of sounds and noises that people perceive are as diverse as the condition.

Tinnitus Sufferers May Hear:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Hissing
  • Swooshing
  • Clicking
  • Whistling

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is primarily caused by environmental and behavioral factors, with noise exposure and hearing loss being the main catalysts for the condition. There are very few known genetic-based catalysts for tinnitus.

Whether the sound is perceived in the left ear, right ear, or both ears, tinnitus may be due to:

  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Jaw, or TMJ conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Earwax buildup
  • Specific medications
  • Head or neck injuries

According to the American Journal of Medicine, certain demographic groups appear to be more susceptible to both acute and chronic tinnitus:

  • Males develop tinnitus more often than females
  • Tinnitus is more common in older populations
  • Caucasians are more likely to have tinnitus

Groups at higher risk of developing tinnitus include:

  • Senior citizens
  • Active military personnel and veterans
  • People employed in loud workplace environments (including agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, and transportation)
  • Musicians and live concert lovers
  • Motorsports and hunting enthusiasts

Can Tinnitus Be Treated?

The user-friendly Levo software allows patients to listen to their personalized sound match on an Apple iPod touch. And flexible-fit earbuds, designed to ensure comfort during sleep, allow for optimal positioning and controlled delivery of sound therapy.

By using the Levo Patient System while asleep at night for three months and then afterward as needed, the brain should gradually become habituated to the patient’s unique tinnitus sound.

Unlike traditional maskers or sound generators, the Levo System:

  • Is specifically designed for use during sleep when the brain is exceptionally responsive to habituation
  • Can identify the unique tinnitus sound of each individual
  • Allows patients to hear the sounds they are living with
  • Is FDA-approved
  • Tracks patient use and response to therapy using smart technology
  • Exclusively integrates the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) to measure and monitor tinnitus impact

The Levo System is available only by prescription for single patient use. It may not be offered as a shared or rentable system. During an initial consultation with an audiologist, you’ll discuss your therapy options and undergo a TFI test to help decide if the Levo System is the right therapy for you.

Ear, Nose, Throat and Plastic Surgery Associates, PA

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