What Do All These Phantom Noises Mean?

Do you sometimes hear ringing in your ears? Do you notice buzzing, clicking, whistling, or even hissing sounds when nothing in your environment is making those noises? These sounds may be loud or soft, low in pitch or high. You may hear them in one or both ears, and they may come and go or be present all the time.

If so, you may have tinnitus, a condition in which you hear what’s known as “phantom sounds.” Tinnitus is a common problem, affecting more than 11% of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can affect your concentration, sleep, and quality of life.

Here at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, Dr. Kevin Sharim and his team have extensive experience diagnosing and treating tinnitus. Dr. Sharim would like to share some important information with you about this common hearing-related condition.

Buzz, buzz, buzz

Tinnitus occurs when the tiny hairs in your ears that transmit sound signals don’t function properly. When this happens – typically because these tiny hairs become damaged – you may have the sense that you are hearing phantom noises.

Although tinnitus isn’t the same as hearing loss, it can be a sign that you are starting to experience age-related hearing loss.

Tinnitus can have many different possible causes, including the following:

Treating tinnitus

To determine the best treatment for your tinnitus, your provider starts by conducting a full evaluation of your hearing and your ear health. Then your provider creates a personalized treatment plan designed to address any issues that may be contributing to your tinnitus.

For example, if tinnitus is caused by a current infection in your ears or sinuses, a prescription antibiotic may clear it up. If your tinnitus is related to hearing loss, your provider may recommend a hearing aid.

In some cases, you may benefit from a tinnitus masker, which is a specialized hearing aid that produces white noise that masks phantom sounds.

Care for your tinnitus

If you’re experiencing tinnitus-type sounds or any other types of hearing-related problems, you can count on our providers to deliver the best possible care. 

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharim and our team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, contact one of our offices today. Our offices are conveniently located in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, West Hills, and Santa Monica, California.

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