March 1, 2024

Tinnitus FAQ

Our last blog post focused on tinnitus basics and possible treatment options for tinnitus management. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information regarding tinnitus on the internet, which has resulted in this topic becoming very controversial online. Here are a few of the most debated topics surrounding tinnitus, its causes, and its effects on overall health:

  1. What causes tinnitus? Tinnitus is the perception of a sound without an external source. The sound does not have an external source because it is being generated internally by the brain. This is why there is currently no outright cure for tinnitus. Although tinnitus can be multi-factorial, the most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss.
  • How common is tinnitus? According to the American Tinnitus Association, nearly 50 million Americans (about 15% of the general population) experience tinnitus. Of those people, approximately 10 to 12 million experience chronic tinnitus and seek medical attention for their condition. For about 1 to 2 million Americans, tinnitus significantly reduces their quality of life.
  • What can make tinnitus worse? The three big factors that can make tinnitus worse are stress/anxiety, poor sleep, and excessive amounts of caffeine.
  • Can tinnitus cause other health issues or cognitive decline? Although tinnitus could be a sign of underlying hearing loss and may contribute to stress and anxiety symptoms, tinnitus itself does NOT cause other health issues such as cognitive decline or dementia. Studies have been performed suggesting a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline, however, it is important to note that hearing loss is not the sole cause of dementia. 
  • Are there any recommended websites with additional information? In addition to the JHBI website, a few reputable websites that we would recommend would be the American Tinnitus Association (, the Mayo Clinic informational page (, and the Cleveland Clinic informational page (


There may not be a definitive cure for tinnitus, but there are plenty of ways our audiologists can help patients. We will be glad to help you learn more about tinnitus and associated management strategies. Get in touch with our clinic at 904-399-0350 to schedule a tinnitus evaluation.


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