What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of a sound -- a tone, crickets, steam whistle, sea shell, or any number of other sounds -- that is experienced by millions of people even though there is no external event producing the sound. In the vast majority of cases, tinnitus is not a symptom of anything serious. Unlike typical sounds the tinnitus sensation originates in the head of its owner, and that's why nobody else seems to hear the sound even though it may seem fairly loud to the person who "owns" it.
What to expect during your appointment
The tinnitus clinic provides counseling and sound therapy options for patients bothered by the sensation of tinnitus. Dr. Fagelson started providing counseling and sound therapy for patients with bothersome tinnitus in 2001. Counseling includes discussion of the specific problems being caused by tinnitus, as well as its neural mechanisms and sources that make the tinnitus occur and continue. Many patients with tinnitus also experience hearing loss, and in those cases, sound therapy including hearing aids may be an option. Some patients find their tinnitus influences depression and anxiety, and in those cases, counseling can include coping strategies as well as referrals onward to psychology.
Initial appointments are scheduled for 2 hours in order to allow the patient enough time to convey in full the influences and effects of tinnitus. Many people believe there is no cure for tinnitus, however our clinical activity targets a patient's ability to manage the tinnitus effects. In this way, clinician and patient share the objective of co-existing with tinnitus in a way that minimizes its impact on a person's life.