Dr. Maresca has specialized in the treatment of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis disorders for over 15 years.
There is a misconception that Tinnitus is untreatable, nothing can be done and you just have to learn to live with it. After specializing in tinnitus management for over 15 years, Dr. Maresca believes that you do not have to learn to live with it!
Tinnitus is the term for noises, which are heard in the ears or in the head. It may be described as a buzzing, ringing, whistling, hissing and or many other sounds. Tinnitus may be constant or episodic, high pitched or low pitched, steady in volume or fluctuating in volume. It may even change throughout the day in the type of sound that you hear. Essentially, tinnitus can be very predictable or very unpredictable. Tinnitus is a natural phenomenon experienced by 50 Million Americans. Persistent tinnitus, which becomes problematic, is experienced by approximately 30 Million Americans.
Tinnitus is considered to be a brain disorder, not an ear disorder. Generally, both disorders originally stem from damage to the same area, the inner ear. The disorder of Tinnitus and Hearing loss, are 2 different disorders and therefore need to be addressed differently.
If you compare tinnitus experienced by a patient who does not consider it to be problematic, to a patient who does consider their tinnitus to be problematic, there are no significant physical or medical differences. The difference lies in the part of the brain concerned with analyzing weak sound signals.
In many cases, a patient will experience normal tinnitus, which may easily give the patient the idea that something is medically wrong or that they will be stuck with this problem for the rest of their life. This split second negative thinking is frequently responsible for the initial focusing of the subconscious part of the brain on the small tinnitus signals coming from the inner ear. This focus creates feelings of annoyance, apprehension and even anxiety and depression. These emotions are generated by other parts of the brain outside of the hearing mechanism. Here starts the tinnitus cycle. The emotions, creating a physiological change in the body, increase the brains focus on the neurological signal creating a greater awareness of the tinnitus. This heightened awareness of the tinnitus increases the stress anxiety and negative emotions, which then again create a physiological change in the body, which increase the awareness of the tinnitus. Essentially, the more you hear it, the more stressed you get, the more stressed you get the louder it becomes , the louder it becomes the more you hear it, the more you hear it the more stressed you get….. The Cycle of Tinnitus.