When you are struggling with tinnitus, your first thought likely has nothing to do what figuring out what your type of tinnitus is called. While determining the type of tinnitus can seem like semantics, knowing what kind of tinnitus you have can assist you in finding the right treatment for the ringing in your ears.
Two of the most common types of tinnitus are subjective tinnitus and somatic tinnitus. As your local tinnitus experts, our hearing health care professionals are here to tell you all about somatic and subjective tinnitus and how you can manage your type of tinnitus effectively.
What Are Somatic and Subjective Tinnitus?
Different types of tinnitus are primarily separated by their potential triggers. As health care professionals are still working on their understanding of tinnitus, exactly what causes tinnitus has not been pinned down. However, there is enough of an understanding of somatic and subjective tinnitus to differentiate them.
Somatic tinnitus is generally caused by an issue in the areas surrounding the auditory system, such as a problem in your head, neck, and shoulders. Some upper body issues that can trigger somatic tinnitus are:
- Dental issues like impacted wisdom teeth, an abscessed tooth, and TMJ.
- Holding a non-ergonomic neck position like lying on a pillow at the wrong angle or hunching over a desk.
- Muscle spasms located in the neck, shoulders, or around the ears.
Injuries to your neck and head can also be sources of somatic tinnitus. Because the triggers for somatic tinnitus are generally not caused by issues in the inner ear directly, this type of tinnitus can also be referred to as conductive tinnitus.
Subjective tinnitus is the most common form of tinnitus, as it is often triggered by loud noise exposure. The amount of time a subjective tinnitus flare-up can last often varies, and most people will at least experience temporary subjective tinnitus at least once during their lives.
This type of tinnitus has often been linked with hearing loss, and many researchers believe that subjective tinnitus is triggered by damage to the sensitive hair cells that are in the inner ear. Once these cells are damaged, the issue is permanent. Not everyone who has tinnitus has hearing loss, but there is a high correlation between the two issues.
How Does Tinnitus Treatment Differ?
As somatic tinnitus and subjective tinnitus are triggered by differing sources, the types of tinnitus treatment recommended to treat and manage them are also different.
Somatic tinnitus treatment options – Since somatic tinnitus is often caused by mechanical issues in the head and neck region, treatment can be as simple as having a massage. The myofascial release generated by a massage can help improve circulation and release knots that are causing spasms.
If the problem is related to dental issues, working with a dentist to address the problem can also help. Also, since it is not always possible to drop everything and get a massage, working on better posture and using sound therapy can help get you through a somatic tinnitus flare-ups.
Subjective tinnitus treatment options – There are several effective treatment and management options when it comes to treating subjective tinnitus. One of the most popular is the use of hearing aids to provide sound therapy. Depending on the hearing aids you choose, our hearing instrument specialists can pre-program your hearing aids with soothing sounds to run in the background. Or you can take control of the sound program that is streamed to your hearing aids from your smartphone.
There are also other types of treatments, such as tinnitus retraining therapy and the Levo System, which retrains your brain to recognize and ignore your tinnitus while you sleep. Our tinnitus specialists will work with you to determine which of these options is the best fit for your needs.
Treat Your Tinnitus At Hearing Associates Of Las Vegas
Here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, we have made it a point to stay on top of the latest technology and research concerning tinnitus and how it impacts your health. So, if you haven’t found the answers you need for your tinnitus, you can trust that we will help to the best of our abilities.
All you need to do is contact us and set up a tinnitus evaluation with our staff, and we will do our best to find the right tinnitus treatment for your needs.