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Do you hear ringing, buzzing, clicking or whooshing sounds in your ears? If so, you are not alone.

We’ve asked Dr. Katherine Bowman, AuD, audiologist at the UT Health East Texas ENT Center on Three Lakes Parkway in Tyler, to answer some of the more common questions about tinnitus.

What is tinnitus?

Approximately 25 million American adults will experience tinnitus (the name for that ringing/buzzing sound) in any given year. Tinnitus can be a temporary condition or can become chronic - meaning it does not go away.

What causes tinnitus?

There are many causes of tinnitus, from simple earwax blockage to something more severe such as acoustic trauma; even anxiety or stress can be causes for that ringing in your ears. For a majority of people, tinnitus is not excessively bothersome, but in some cases the presence of these sounds can lead to sleep disruption, anxiety and even depression.

What are the treatment options for tinnitus?

Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus, but professionals such as otolaryngologists and audiologists can help you diagnose and manage your symptoms. One of the first steps is to have your hearing tested, as up to 80% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. An audiologist can help explain different types of tinnitus treatments and management techniques, as well as ways to treat any hearing loss you may have. If further assessment is required, the audiologist can also help guide you to other professionals for additional care.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bowman, call 903-747-4098 or visit