Medically Reviewed by:

David Lee

Hearing Aid Practitioner at Bow River Hearing
David is a Hearing Aid Practitioner. He speaks both English and Cantonese. He is single-minded in his passion to help you find the hearing solution that is right for you.

David has 12 years of experience helping over 3000 patients to better hearing. He graduated from the MacEwan University HAP - Hearing Aids Practitioner Program. He is also a TRT Specialist that allows him to help those suffering from tinnitus.

David is the President of the College of Hearing Aid Practitioners (CHAPA), a certified Lyric trainer and a certified Cerumen Management Trainer.

To learn more about David click here.
David Lee

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Last Updated August 13, 2019

“Tinnitus,” or ringing in the ears, refers to the annoying sensation of hearing sounds when there is no external sound present. It can be present in one or both ears, either some or all of the time. It can range from being unbearably loud to very soft. It is often more noticeable in quiet situations, or at night when you’re trying to relax or sleep. Tinnitus can be mild or very bothersome.

Tinnitus is a condition that affects about 10% to 15% of the overall population. One in five people between 55 and 65 years of age report some tinnitus symptoms. It can take on many forms, such as buzzing, hissing, ringing, roaring, or clicking. It’s not a medical condition; tinnitus is a symptom, and most commonly accompanied by some degree of hearing loss. Even if you aren’t experiencing communication difficulties, you may have a hearing loss you are unaware of. Even a mild hearing loss can cause tinnitus.

The annoyance of tinnitus can affect a person’s work and social life, and in severe cases it can cause headaches, tiredness, insomnia, anxiety, irritability and depression.

At our Bow River Hearing clinics in Calgary and Airdrie we are committed to treating tinnitus and improving the quality of life of those suffering from tinnitus symptoms. At Bow River Hearing we offer one the the best tinnitus treatment centres in all of Alberta. Our audiologists and hearing specialists are specifically trained in performing hearing tests to identify tinnitus, and how to properly treat those with tinnitus. If you have been dealing with tinnitus stop by a Bow River Hearing clinic and let our audiology experts help with your hearing health.

The Causes Of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is usually representative of an inner-ear problem, and is often caused by prolonged exposure to loud noise. Depending on the intensity of the sound, your hearing may be damaged temporarily or permanently; whether or not temporary damage will become permanent is something that can’t always be determined. Other possible causes of tinnitus are: certain medications, diet, head trauma, stress, eardrum blockage, jaw joint disorders and hearing loss. Mechanisms that cause tinnitus in the brain and inner ear are the subject of ongoing research.

In rare cases, a blood vessel disorder may result in “pulsatile tinnitus,” which sends pulsing signals in concert with your heartbeat. It can be caused by a tumor of the head or neck head, a buildup of circulatory system cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, blood flow turbulence or malformed capillaries surrounding the ear.

A Cure for Tinnitus?

At present, there is no cure for tinnitus. But our hearing professionals will help you find out what’s causing your tinnitus and explore possibilities for reducing its effect on your life. Sometimes, simply changing your diet or medication regimen can help with your symptoms. Relaxation techniques can also be a source of relief.

What Tinnitus Treatment Options Are Available?

Our Hearing Care providers are committed to better hearing and are trained to provide treatment methods that can help lessen the impact of tinnitus. Hearing technology can, in most cases, relieve the burden caused by the combination of tinnitus and hearing loss.

Treatment options include:

  • Hearing Technology that can improve hearing overall and eliminate perceived ringing.
  • Maskers that are fitted to the ear like hearing aids and produce low-level sounds to distract the wearer from tinnitus.
  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy which combines sound therapy and counseling designed to alter brain signals and weaken the perception of tinnitus.

Personal Hearing Systems are the most popular treatment for people who experience both tinnitus and hearing loss. Such systems can improve hearing and often reduce or even eliminate the experience of tinnitus sounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Current research by neurologists suggests that altering certain areas of the brain that respond to sound — or a lack thereof — may provide relief.

Experiments to regrow broken hair cells have also been performed. Regrowth of hair cells means that hearing is restored, which prevents the brain from attempting to fill the void left by a lack of hair cells, ultimately ending tinnitus.

Both theories are likely years away from clinical trials, which means a greater period of time until any possible cure hits the market. Curing tinnitus may be possible, but likely not in the near future.

No. Tinnitus is a symptom of any number of conditions, including hearing loss.

Rarely. There is a form of tinnitus referred to as “objective tinnitus” that your doctor can hear. This is typically the result of a blood vessel problem, an inner ear bone condition, or muscle contractions.

In our daily lives, sounds around us typically mask tinnitus to some degree. At night, when things are quiet, there’s less noise and fewer mental distractions. If your tinnitus is stress-related, it’s also possible that the cumulative stress of your day has made your symptoms worse.

Almost all of the “surefire” remedies for tinnitus found on the Internet are based on junk science, case studies, or no real evidence at all. But there are some things you can try to help lessen symptoms, including:

  • Limiting exposure to loud noises
  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Ingesting less salt
  • Limiting exposure to alcohol