Question: What is tinnitus and how prevalent is it?

Answer: Tinnitus can be described as ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing, chirping, whistling, roaring sensation in the ear.  10% - 15% of the adult population has continued tinnitus. If you are experiencing tinnitus,  a medical evaluation can determine if there is a treatable cause. Your visit should include a comprehensive evaluation with an audiologist. Dr. Pinky Khatri who perform tinnitus evaluations at our practice will provide treatment options after your evaluation. 

Question: What causes tinnitus?

Answer: While there are a number of causes for tinnitus, the most common cause is damage to the endings of the inner ear hearing nerves. Another common cause is exposure to excessively loud noise. In some cases overuse of aspirin has been associated to tinnitus. Very rarely, tinnitus is a symptom of a brain tumor or brain aneurysm.

Question: How is tinnitus treated?

Answer: After an evaluation, your doctor will try to identify the cause and make recommendations. At times, medications can be recommended and at times, the symptoms go away on its own without resorting to medication. However, some strategies may be discussed with your audiologist. Currently, Niacin and gabapentin (Neurontin, Gabarone) are used at times. However, a new study overseas is looking at acamprosate (Campral) which is a drug used to treat alcoholism. This drug has not been approved for use in the United States, but FDA is currently doing a study.

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