Lost in a Sea of Sound: How Tinnitus Amplifies Restaurant Noise

Is treating hearing loss nothing more than a great conspiracy (like Disney always trying to squeeze money out of patrons)?

Then, and now, there may be some overprescribing or even premature prescribing by some hearing healthcare providers (remember—there are bad apples in every orchard!)

But there is a very legitimate, clinically documented, medically approved, and 90+ percent of the time, clearly visible reason some adults, sometimes as young as their 40s, need treatment and care: tinnitus.

Tinnitus (pronounced tin-ni-tus or tin-night-us; either is correct!), is most often attributed to the progressive and degenerative loss of nerves connecting the ear to the brain, (aka HEARING LOSS). Tinnitus is just the fancy-pants word for ‘ringing in your ears’ or ‘ringing in your head’. Ironically, people with hearing loss are often described as ‘’suffering in silence’, when in fact, that is exactly the opposite of what most people with hearing loss deal with as the tinnitus can severely impact living.

Discover a world of support and solutions for hearing loss and tinnitus – visit our website today to empower yourself with knowledge, connect with a community, and take the first step towards a life filled with clearer sounds and renewed well-being. www.excellenceinaudiology.org.

Simply put, as the nerves break down (from aging, genetics, noise exposure, medications, virus, etc.,) the brain will automatically make up for the missing signal and create the false percep tion of sound. This ‘central gain’ of neural activity can be altered with treatment (aka neuroplasticity) and reduce the experience of tinnitus. The patients treated in our practices have tremendous success in reducing and/or eliminating their tinnitus. Chances are, when we begin your treatment, you have an 80+% probability of living with less (or no) tinnitus. While I am not much of a gambler… I like those odds!

If you or your loved one are suffering from any, several, or all the following early indicators of hearing loss and tinnitus, consider having them addressed by a hearing healthcare specialist sooner rather than later:

  1. Noises in Your Ears or Head
    • Tinnitus is the internal alarm letting you know something is wrong. If left untreated, it will get worse. Tinnitus can interrupt your sleep, cause headaches, and increase stress and frustration.
  2. Difficulty Hearing Others
    • Being left out of the conversation can be frustrating and embarrassing. Trust us, the more you ‘smile and nod’ your way through a conversation, the more people look at you and think ‘wow, she/he is getting old’.
  3. Memory Issues
    • It is now considered a medical truth that hearing loss can increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia by as much as 200-500%, depending on degree of hearing loss. This means that even a “mild” hearing loss (which, we believe, is a foolish term used to describe hearing loss!) can increase the risk of dementia by 200%. Early signs that hearing loss and tinnitus may be impacting your memory include:
      • memory loss that disrupts daily life (your spouse or children are getting mad at you for not remembering things)
      • challenges in planning or problem solving (getting more confused that you normally do)
      • difficulty completing familiar tasks (not completing your tasks and ‘to-do’ lists)
      • confusion with time or place (losing track of time and location)
      • problems identifying words and names (what was her name again?)
      • misplacing things (losing your car keys way more than you should!)
      • difficulty retracing steps (‘wait a minute, how did I get here?!?!’)
      • withdrawal from others (‘nah, I would rather stay in than go out with friends’)
      • changes in mood and personality (becoming more frustrated and anxious than you ever used to be)

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or your loved one, do something about it, today!

The right hearing healthcare provider understands the importance of early intervention, or as we most often say to patients, you have to catch it early and treat it early’.     The right hearing healthcare provider can help you understand the implication of cognitive decline, help you address how your hearing loss is playing a role in your decline, help you understand the other risk factors of cognitive decline and dementia, and help you with additional resources.

The first question then is: do you have or show all the signs of early hearing loss, a progressive degenerative disorder? Second: if so, what should be done about it? Third: when?

To answer all these questions, the first comprehensive audiology exam should occur at 50 years of age. We passionately believe in the expression ‘Ears and Rears’—the two things you must get checked when turning 50 years young. With early and peri odic audiology exams, you may avoid the dire consequences of living with untreated hearing loss, the extra costs of living with untreated hearing loss, and living without the embarrassment and frustration related to untreated hearing loss. And do not forget, mid-life treatment of hearing loss is at the top of the list of ways in which you can prevent dementia.

Waiting will have profoundly dire consequences, often requiring more treatment, higher costs, and poorerprognosis! What too many patients fail to realize is that the signs of hearing loss are urgent and should be treated as such. We often say to patients ‘the time for treatment is yesterday!’ If you or your loved one need medical treatment for hearing loss—now or at some predictable future time—the outcome of the initial exam can help lead to more sensible decisions.

Let us be empathetically clear. We are not in the business of treating hearing loss for people who do not need it. Our offices are not hearing aid stores.

We are in the business of helping people and their families obtain the right medical treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus if needed, access to treatment, affordable treatment, and the opportunity to hear and live their absolute best. We believe the best patient is the educated patient. In our offices, you are never told what to do. You are provided with factual information, no medical jargon, and in plain English the ‘reasons why’ you have hearing loss and tinnitus, and what your treatment options are.

Every adult with hearing loss and tinnitus needs treatment. But not all treatment is created equal. Together, we will collaborate with you to figure out what is, or is not needed, and what options are the best. And we will never compromise.

The World's Award-Winning Hearing & Tinnitus Treatment Specialists
I drive rather far to see them, and it is well worth it. I feel well cared for and valued as a person. Highly, highly recommend.— Nady G.
The reviews listed are from actual patients of Excellence in Audiology. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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