Appalachian Hearing & Balance

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(276) 326-3890 or 1-800-486-4327
Dr. William J. Larsen, Au.D., FAAA Dr. Cheryl L. Rhodes, Au.D., FAAA
Doctors of Audiology 
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Tinnitus is defined by The Comprehensive Dictionary of Audiology as a "sensation of ringing or other sound in the head, without an external cause" while Stedman's Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing defines it as "a sensation of noises (ringing, whistling, booming) in the ears". 

Subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of tinnitus and is distinguished from objective tinnitus in that it can only be heard by the individual who has it. It can be occasional or constant. Almost everyone has had occasional tinnitus. Tinnitus is often described by my patients as "ringing", "bells", "hissing", "roaring", "the sound a cricket makes", "the sound a locust makes", "the sound jar flies make", "the sound a tea kettle makes", "ocean sounds", "music", "thumping" to name a few. Tinnitus is almost always a benign symptom although it can be quite debilitating. It can vary in intensity and pitch. It can be in one ear or both or appear to sound like it's in the middle. While the exact cause of tinnitus is unknown, there are many theories and it is associated with many disorders. It can be the symptom of a disease and should always be evaluated by an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus. At Appalachian Hearing and Balance, we understand tinnitus as I myself have constant bilateral tinnitus (or I should say I used to have it, before we treated it). We have approximately a 90% success rate of either significantly reducing tinnitus or eliminating it. The old saying of "you just have to live with it" is usually not true anymore. We've been very successful at treating tinnitus.


Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, not very well documented, and is distinguished from subjective tinnitus in that not only the person who has it can hear it, but an examiner can hear it as well.
Stedman's medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing: llustrated.-5th edition, (p.427)
Stach, B. (1997). Comptrehensive Distionary of Audiology (p.65). William & Wilkins; Baltimore, MD

While there is no know cure for most forms of tinnitus, 
it is not true that "nothing can be done about it."
 There are two types of tinnitus:

Subjective Tinnitus & Objective Tinnitus