One area of expertise of our hearing specialists at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas is tinnitus. As tinnitus is difficult to diagnose and manage by those who don’t have specialized training in providing tinnitus evaluations and management solutions, our hearing specialists keep up with the latest research and tinnitus treatment methods.
To help you learn more about tinnitus, we wanted to review the finding of a significant study which has helped hearing healthcare specialists understand more about tinnitus and how it affect a person’s brain.
Tinnitus Is Caused By More Than Hearing Loss
It is commonly acknowledged that there is a link between tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss. There have been studies which have inferred that when hearing loss occurs in the inner ear due to aging or loud noise exposure, the brain would create feedback in the damaged areas with tinnitus’ phantom sounds.
Naturally, this theory is difficult to prove. However, in the study about the structural changes in a brain with tinnitus, some brains had their auditory nerve severed due to acoustic neuroma (inner ear tumor) treatment. So, the idea that hearing loss from inner ear damage causes tinnitus isn’t a complete provable theory.
Areas Of The Brain Connected To The Auditory System Are Impacted By Tinnitus
According to the study on the structural changes in a brain with tinnitus, there are two key changes in the brain which can contribute to tinnitus. These changes are:
- Medial geniculate nucleus (MGN) reorganization – The MGN undergoes reorganization after hearing loss. This reorganization in the brain causes tinnitus-related activity to be triggered.
- Subcallosal area decreases in gray matter – As the gray matter in the subcallosal area decreases, the brain is less able to stop tinnitus activity from being perceived by you.
Even knowing these things, researchers are still not sure if the tinnitus has caused these changes in the brain or if the brain changed and triggered tinnitus. In either case, there are still ways to treat tinnitus effectively.
Currently Effective Tinnitus Management Methods
As your brain plays a critical role in triggering your tinnitus, it is natural that the best tinnitus treatment methods will also work with the brain to overcome the phantom noises. Some of the brain-centered tinnitus treatment offered at our hearing clinics are:
- Levo System
- Tinnitus-supported hearing aids
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
To learn more about tinnitus and start managing your tinnitus symptoms, contact us to work with one of our experienced hearing specialists.