Why Prevention is so Important

The prevention of tinnitus is extremely important for one simple reason - there is at present no cure for those afflicted with it. However, it must be understood that the causes of tinnitus are many and varied and that it is not always clear what, if anything, can be done to totally prevent it. Indeed, in many cases no one knows for sure what the cause was nor will it ever be determined. Therefore it cannot be assumed that universal prevention is even possible. Having said that, what we do know is that for many people tinnitus is associated with hearing loss, frequently severe loss and perhaps most often in the high end of the frequency range. Some studies have shown that as many as 85% of tinnitus sufferers seeking treatment or therapies have such hearing loss. The exact relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus is not clearly understood by medical researchers and audiologists, but it is believed that often excessive sound damages the delicate microscopic hairs lining the cochlea, an organ in the inner ear. That damage can cause the organ to misfire and send "phantom" signals to the brain, somewhat similar to the now well-known phantom symptoms of limb loss. Few experts doubt that preventing hearing loss would significantly reduce the incidence of tinnitus. Therefore, this is our focus of attention.

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