Lady plugging her ears due to ringing.

Roughly 10% of the U.S. adult population, or about 25 million Americans, has experienced tinnitus lasting at least 5 minutes in the past year. Tinnitus is a phantom ringing, whooshing, or buzzing noise in your ear that only you can hear. People experience tinnitus in a variety of ways.

Some folks describe it as a mild annoyance that can be fixed with a quick and vigorous shake of the head. Others, however, describe the condition as debilitating. Though research is ongoing, there is currently no cure for tinnitus. However, relief can come from a variety of treatments.


Why Does Tinnitus Occur?

For an in-depth look at why tinnitus occurs in the first place, and ways to treat it, please visit this blog that Allied Hearing’s own Dr. Shannon Smith authored for What’s, you ask? Allied Hearing is a certified practice on, which means that we are certified to provide both clinical AND patient best practices in the field of hearing care. In short, we went through rigorous education and testing to prove that we provide the highest quality of hearing care by following comprehensive audiologic best practices.

Tinnitus is generally the first symptom of ototoxicity and is usually short-lived, but it can have more permanent symptoms.


What Is Ototoxicity?

Ototoxicity is a poisoning of the inner ear due to exposure to or ingestion of medications or chemicals that can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, and/or balance disorders. High doses or long-term use of certain antibiotics, antidepressants, loop diuretics, pain relievers, and prescription or over-the-counter medications can cause ototoxicity.

Drugs that can cause tinnitus:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antimalarials
  • Vapors, solvents
  • Cardiac medications
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Psychopharmacologic agents
  • Miscellaneous toxic substances
  • Antineoplastics
  • Diuretics

Drugs that can cause more permanent tinnitus symptoms:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Certain cancer medications
  • Water pills and diuretics
  • Quinine-based medications

The effects caused by ototoxic drugs can sometimes be reversed when the drug is stopped. Sometimes, however, the damage is permanent. To dive deeper into the reasons tinnitus can, and cannot, go away, please visit our blog.

Tinnitus can be managed through strategies that make it less bothersome. No single approach works for everyone, and there is no FDA-approved drug treatment, supplement, or herbal remedy proven to be any more effective than a placebo. Behavioral strategies and sound-generating devices often offer the best treatment results — this is partially why distracting the individual’s attention from these sounds can prevent a chronic manifestation. Some of the most effective methods are:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Tinnitus-retraining therapy (TRT)
  • Masking
  • Biofeedback


Managing Tinnitus While Taking Ototoxic Medication

With the right care, it is possible to manage your tinnitus while simultaneously taking a medicine that is causing it. This is best done when your audiologist and your prescribing physician work together. They’ll collaborate to monitor your hearing and balance systems before and during your treatment. This will help you and your treatment team determine whether to stop or to change your prescription before your hearing is damaged.

It’s always important to have the right medical professionals on your side, but when you’re dealing with a diagnosis like this, it’s even more critical. Making sure your hearing health team is experienced and certified is essential. What’s even better? Make sure your hearing care professionals are certified by It’s a next-level certification that can make all the difference. If you live in or near Central Michigan, you’re in luck! Your local hearing experts at Allied Hearing are certified by, making sure you are getting the best care possible.

As a provider, Allied Hearing adheres to audiological best practices, ensuring patients receive top-tier care. This commitment includes ongoing training, adherence to guidelines, and the incorporation of advanced technologies to enhance patient outcomes. In the pursuit of optimal hearing health, selecting a provider who follows best practices is paramount. certification guides patients to practices who are committed to excellence.


Finding Relief With Hearing Aids

If the drugs cannot be stopped or changed, we will work with your physician to help you manage the effects of the hearing loss that results. Relief from tinnitus is possible with our help. Due to the personal and unique nature of your tinnitus, proper evaluation and specialized treatment are necessary. Although there isn’t a single cure for tinnitus, we are experienced at providing individual solutions on a case-by-case basis.

Using hearing aids for tinnitus has proven to be beneficial in two main ways. First, it helps reduce the awareness of the tinnitus itself. Second, it improves communication by lessening the frustrating feeling that the tinnitus is drowning out other sounds and voices. When someone has hearing loss, the lack of external sounds can make tinnitus more noticeable, and the brain may adapt in a way that contributes to the problem.

Hearing aids help by masking the sounds of tinnitus and increasing the volume of outside noise, which, in turn, activates the auditory nervous system. This stimulates soft background sounds and improves communication, so you feel more connected to friends, family, and your world.

Additionally, it might stimulate the brain’s ability to adapt and reprogram the auditory nervous system, leading to long-term relief from tinnitus by restoring neural function. For best results, it’s recommended to use hearing aids in both ears and disable noise-reducing controls. In some cases, a combination device may be more effective.


What Is a Successful Outcome?

With an issue like tinnitus that is incurable, as of yet, the end result of treatment looks different for everyone. When you’re managing symptoms instead of curing a disease, the results are intensely personal. Successful outcomes not only depend on using the right devices but also on tailoring them to the individual’s needs through counseling and customization.

If a hearing aid is in a person’s treatment plan, it’s crucial for the patient to become accustomed to wearing the hearing aid consistently, as it plays a significant role in the overall therapy process. Hearing care professionals play a big role here; they help patients decide what the best outcome is and help them know when they have achieved it.

Are you or a loved one experiencing tinnitus?

It’s essential to consult a professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate plan tailored to your individual needs. If you have questions about the condition or want to learn what management options might be available to you, don’t wait.

Contact Allied Hearing today with any questions regarding your tinnitus, or to schedule a consultation with our professionals. We are here to help!

Learn more about tinnitus and available treatment options here.

Allied Hearing — Always Hear for You.

Allied Hearing has been in business since 1985, and our patient-centered approach satisfies all your hearing needs. We’ll work with you to diagnose and find solutions for your concerns using state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technology. We’re motivated by helping people reconnect with their loved ones through better hearing. When was your last hearing exam? Reach out to us today — we’d love to be part of your journey to better hearing.

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