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Tinnitus in Princeton and Monroe, NJ

According to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus or ringing in the ears affects approximately one in five people. If you’re in the Central New Jersey area, including the communities of Princeton, Monroe and Plainsboro, help for this condition is available from board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Scott Kay, FACS, of Princeton Otolaryngology Associates.

What is Tinnitus?

Put simply, it is ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is not actually a condition, but rather is a symptom of another disorder such as hearing loss or an ear injury.

What Causes Tinnitus?

When ringing is accompanied by throbbing, it is usually due to a defect in the arteries or veins of the ear. Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis may cause the Eustachian tube to open and close repeatedly, leading to a ringing or clicking noise. Other causes may be:

  • Tumor
  • Injury
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Otosclerosis, which is an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear
  • Meniere’s disease, a condition that affects the flow of fluid in the middle ear
  • Drug toxicity
  • Aging

Benefits of Tinnitus Treatment

Chronic tinnitus can affect your quality of life since it impairs your ability to hear other sounds. Those who suffer from tinnitus tend to have difficulty sleeping and a higher risk of depression. Eliminating or reducing tinnitus can help life become more normal again.

How is Tinnitus Treated?

In a number of ways, with the most common treatments being:

  • Changes in medication
  • Removing excess ear wax
  • Prescribing a hearing aid
  • Wearing a device to help mask the ringing
  • Surgery to remove tumors

Preparing for Tinnitus Treatment

Prepare your answers to these questions to help Dr. Kay better determine the cause of your tinnitus:

  • When did symptoms begin?
  • Have you recently been exposed to loud noises?
  • Is the ringing present in one or both ears?
  • What does the noise sound like? (clicking, humming, or ringing)
  • Is the ringing constant, or does it come and go?
  • What other symptoms are you experiencing? (pulsing or throbbing in the ears, dizziness, etc.)

You should also bring any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter ones.

Tinnitus Treatment Recovery

Each person’s recovery is different since no two people are treated in the same way. Dr. Kay will go over recovery steps with you once he has developed a treatment plan.

How Much Does Tinnitus Treatment Cost?

This also varies based on the cause of your tinnitus, and the method(s) used to treat it. Tinnitus treatment may be covered by health insurance, and we also accept cash, personal checks, major credit cards and CareCredit® financing.

Is Tinnitus Treatment Right for Me?

If you experience ringing in the ears that persists and also affects your ability to perform everyday activities, seeking help is an important first step toward regaining your quality of life.

Why Choose Princeton Otolaryngology Associates for Tinnitus Treatment?

Dr. Scott Kay is a board certified otolaryngologist who has trained with some of the leading physicians in the industry. He has consistently been named either a “Top Doctor of the Metro Area” or “Top Doctor of New Jersey” every year for the past seven years. His well-rounded knowledge and commitment to patient care assures you the best possible results for your tinnitus.

What to Expect During Your Consultation for Tinnitus

The first thing Dr. Kay will do is to review the medications you are currently taking to ensure your tinnitus is not a side effect of them. Once this possibility has been ruled out, he will perform a thorough examination of your head and neck, especially your ear canals and cranial nerves. He will also listen to the arteries in your neck to check for blood vessel abnormalities.

Depending upon his findings, Dr. Kay may recommend other tests, which can include:

  • An audiogram or hearing test
  • MRI of the brain to check for tumors
  • X-rays to determine whether there is trauma to the ears

Tinnitus FAQs

There are several treatment options available for tinnitus, which include:

  • Using external sources of sound to act as maskers.
  • Use of a hearing aid.
  • Treating sources of head and neck pain.
  • Getting good sleep.
  • Staying away from loud noises.
  • Reducing caffeine intake.
  • Evaluating current medication usage.
  • Reducing stress, depression or anxiety.
  • Addressing issues with jaw joint arthritis.
  • Removing excess wax.
  • Analysing and correcting conditions leading to hearing loss.

Yes, by identifying the cause and if not anything concerning learning how to manage it and eventually ignoring it to the point where it will fade away. All of the “natural” products sold for this condition are premised on that idea and so none of them have ever been proven in double blind studies to have a significant effect on symptoms.

Tinnitus is any sound in the ear that is not coming from the environment. There are many causes but the most common is hearing loss. So for sudden onset of tinnitus one needs to be concerned about sudden hearing loss which is considered an ENT emergency as you have only 10 days in which to receive treatment to reverse it. Other causes could be fatigue, caffeine, medications, TMJ or other head and neck pain, depression, anxiety, stress, loud noises just to name a few. Again the most important cause is hearing loss and for this you need an evaluation by an ENT doctor.

Yes, in some cases, stress can trigger tinnitus symptoms or even cause them to worsen. Unfortunately, tinnitus symptoms can also increase stress, which results in continued tinnitus symptoms. However, most cases of tinnitus are not caused directly by stress, but they are rather a symptom of an underlying condition that is triggered by stress.

Many of the conditions that cause ringing in the ears can also make the symptoms worsen. Loud noises, excess ear wax, TMJ, stress, allergies and drugs and alcohol can all make tinnitus symptoms more severe.


Tinnitus doesn’t have to affect your well-being when help is readily available from Princeton Otolaryngology Associates of the Central New Jersey area. To schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Scott Kay. Our practice serves patients throughout the neighboring communities of Princeton, Monroe and Plainsboro.

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