In a recent report, the United States Center for Disease Control stated that at least 15% of the American public has tinnitus. This means more than fifty million Americans have experienced tinnitus at least once in their lives. When you perceive sound when there’s no external contributor, you may very well be experiencing tinnitus.

Before an audiologist would conclude on chronic tinnitus, you should have had symptoms for three months and beyond. This type is usually connected with hearing loss. Nonetheless, there are some facts about tinnitus that you probably didn't know about. Read about a few here.

Sounds associated with tinnitus vary

Some tend to assume that the only perceived sound associated with tinnitus is the ringing type. On the contrary, anyone experiencing tinnitus report a variation in sounds. These range from hissing to buzzing, whirling and pulsating sounds. Others have even described swooshing and sometimes subtle roaring noises. Additionally, the volume levels vary significantly among people.

Whereas it’s loud in some, others report a subtle and almost low-key perception of these sounds. Again, the perception of sounds may be chronic or acute, meaning it can be sudden and disappear altogether or be persistent for months.

There are four different types of tinnitus:

The somatic

This type is associated with the sensory system. Its main characteristic is the forceful spasm of muscles in the neck and jawline that controls the psychological responses brought on by sound.

Neurological tinnitus

Neurological tinnitus is a type of sound perception that stems from the auditory functions of the human brain.

Objective tinnitus

This type is quite rare. It comes about as a result of spontaneous muscle contractions. Sometimes, it’s due to some deformity in the cardiovascular region. Usually, after treatment of this underlying issue, the tinnitus disappears completely. Did you know that objective tinnitus is the only type where another person can also hear the perceived sounds? Fortunately, it’s the only variation with a higher possibility of a long-lasting resolution.

Subjective tinnitus

This is the most common type reported by anyone who experience it. Unlike the objective, this perception of sound is heard only by the person experiencing it. In many reported cases, it appears suddenly and can last for months or not. For some it’s a lifelong experience that requires management.

Tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease

Tinnitus is often an indication of another underlying health issue. With this explanation, you can conclude that it’s not a disease by itself. For this reason, whenever you experience it, your first line of action is to see your audiologist for assessment and early diagnosis of what the issue could be.

It’s not only an older people's issue

According to the American tinnitus Association, over forty-five million Americans experience this symptom. Although it’s common among the aged, anybody, regardless of age, can have it too. The Association indicated that military personnel and in noisy environments fall among the country's high-risk group. Moreover, it occurs often in males than in the opposite sex.

Tinnitus can be a life-long management symptom

Experiencing tinnitus may require you to manage the symptoms permanently. In terms of treatment and to live more comfortably, an audiologist will recommend a hearing aid with masking features. This device blocks out the internal sounds you perceive. By doing this, your auditory nerves are coaxed into focusing attention on a realistic and more controlled sound.

Now you know some facts about tinnitus, you should see the audiologist if you have similar symptoms. Besides, several Americans have it but can live comfortable, quality lives with your audiologist's help.