Tinnitus usually is not a symptom of something serious, but many people find the sounds bothersome, and it may produce fatigue, stress, problems with sleep, concentration, or memory, and depression or anxiety, becoming debilitating for some sufferers. Tinnitus may be treatable if it is caused by an underlying condition that can be corrected or a medication for which there is an alternative, but there is no effective drug treatment for tinnitus itself. In other cases, a hearing aid or a machine or masking device that produces white noise may be helpful. Counseling with cognitive behavioral therapy to accustom patients to the sounds and teach coping techniques can reduce the stress and the associated problems some people experience.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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