Tinnitus is the perception of sound within the human ear when no actual sound is present. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a condition that is often the result from a wide range of underlying causes such as medications, or a circulatory system disorder. While sometimes this can contribute to, or cause the perception of ringing in the ears, the majority of the time, tinnitus is associated with hearing loss. However, the cause of tinnitus is only partially understood and quite complex, because the source of tinnitus appears to be the substitution of lost sound information to the brain.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by a part of the brain called the pineal gland, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is commonly taken to help with the sleep disruption caused by jet lag, and an analog is available as a prescription for use with patients with insomnia. Melatonin’s role in tinnitus management is in improving sleep, as with a better night’s sleep, tinnitus may be perceived as being less intrusive and burdensome.
The health professionals at the Shea Clinic Ear Nose & Throat and the Shea Hearing Aid Center have the experience, expertise, and tools to help you manage your tinnitus. If you have concerns about tinnitus, or if you would like to discuss options for tinnitus management, we welcome the chance to assist you.