Tinnitus

Never ending buzzing, ringing, intermittent noise in one or both ears? You may be experiencing a condition called Tinnitus. If you have ever experienced an intermittent or ongoing ringing in one ear, both ears or inside your head, you could be suffering from the condition known as Tinnitus. This can be very stressful and annoying!

While there is no specific cure for Tinnitus, the good news is there are many things you can do to manage the tinnitus and make it a little more bearable. There are a range of therapies which help to lesson your symptoms. It is just a matter of finding the right combination for you and we can help you with that!

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What causes Tinnitus?

It is difficult to determine an exact trigger for Tinnitus. In some cases, there may appear to be no obvious explanation. It can develop gradually or begin very suddenly. Below are the most common triggers associated with Tinnitus:

Frequently Asked Questions

Tinnitus sounds different to different people. The sound is difficult to define. Often referred to as a “ringing in the ears,” people can hear sounds similar to hissing, whistling, clicking, ringing, whooshing or roaring. The noise while it can be constant is more often than not intermittent. People often experience a high pitched tone which can be extremely annoying to say the least! What people with tinnitus hear can be very varied. For some the volume can be very quiet, while for others it can be extremely loud.

Tinnitus is not a cause of hearing loss, rather it is a symptom that there is a problem somewhere in the auditory system.  While hearing loss and tinnitus do not always occur together, in as many as 90% of cases, individuals experience both hearing loss and tinnitus from noise damage. It is nonetheless possible to suffer from tinnitus but have no hearing loss, at least hearing loss that is measurable.

Second only to age related hearing loss, tinnitus is the most common form of hearing loss. Approximately 10% of the adult UK population experience this condition in an ongoing basis. All age groups are affected by this condition though there is a sharp increase in its occurrence in older people. It is especially common in people who have been exposed to loud noise for extended periods of time. It is a very distressing condition for those who live with tinnitus.

Tinnitus impacts people in a variety of different ways. For some, it is just experienced after being exposed to loud noise for a prolonged period of time like at a disco or a concert. For others, it has a significant impact on their day-to-day life, affecting them constantly. No matter how one experiences tinnitus, all sufferers have one thing in common: they have an awareness of a high-pitched whistling sound; they experience humming, buzzing or a ringing sound in one or both ears.

Concentration levels can be affected greatly by this condition and the sufferer will often find it difficult to focus on conversations or other sounds around them. It is a condition which affects many people and the particular way it impinges on people’s lives depends entirely on the individual. In that sense, the condition is unique to the individual. Some people find the condition gets worse as their posture changes. For many, tinnitus seems more pronounced in situations of stress and anxiety or when the sufferer is in extremely quiet surroundings. Tiredness also seems to be a trigger for experiencing this ringing in one or both ears.

Hyperacusis is a condition in which people have a particular sensitivity or intolerance to everyday sounds. Hearing these sounds can be extremely distressing for them. Where one person hears the television or radio at what would be classed a normal volume, sufferers of hyperacusis perceive the television or radio as unbearably loud! Musicians and people who work with industrial machinery are most commonly affected by this condition, most probably as a result of being exposed to loud sounds for a prolonged period of time!

Do you ever notice noises in your ear that seems to beat in time with the rhythm of your heart? This condition is called Pulsatile tinnitus. It is generally caused by a change in the blood flow in the vessels near the ear. It can also be linked to a specific condition such as a perforated eardrum.

If you have noticed a quiet buzz or another sound for longer than a week, it is worth consulting your doctor. If you have also been suffering from headaches, dizziness or physical pain, make an appointment quickly as tinnitus can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Our expert Audiologists can provide any additional support and advice as to next steps and whether hearing aids might be something to explore, as many have tinnitus settings to help the symptoms.

Tinnitus Management

There are many different therapies present to help relieve the effects of tinnitus. There is no one fix that cures tinnitus but these tips have definitely helped people manage their tinnitus better. We hope they will be useful to you as well.

Create some time to relax

It’s not always easy to get time to relax with the speed of life today, however this can be a very powerful way to manage tinnitus.

Stress is thought to be one of the main triggers of tinnitus, and so it only makes sense that taking some time out relaxing and forgetting about our worries will work wonders when it comes to tinnitus. Easier said than done but certainly worth a try!

Mindfulness and Meditation are also useful practices and have certainly helped some people.

Sound Therapy

Many people are now using sound therapy to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. In essence, people listen to environmental sounds or relaxing sounds like the sound of birds, the ocean or sounds like a busy street or office chitter chatter.

Focusing on these background noises helps to distract the sufferer from the noise of tinnitus and gives them something different to listen to which can be quite refreshing!

Bedside Sound Generators

People who suffer from tinnitus often find it difficult to get over to sleep. Bedside Sound Generators have built-in timed relaxing sounds which will automatically turn off after a certain period of time.

The generators can be linked to a pillow speaker. Your very own night time lullaby!

Use of Hearing Aids

Hearing Aids have proven to be very helpful in managing Tinnitus. They both distract your brain from hearing the irritating Tinnitus sounds and strengthen the sounds around you!

Your Apex Hearing Audiologist will be able to advise you on whether a hearing aid will be helpful to you in managing your tinnitus.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a very useful treatment for depression. As we know anxiety and stress are common triggers of tinnitus. CBT helps you to deal with the underlying issues to stress, depression, etc.

When we deal with the stress in our lives in many cases it has shown to also significantly relieve the symptoms of Tinnitus.

Medication

Currently there is no medication to treat tinnitus alone! However if depression, anxiety or stress is a key factor in triggering tinnitus, people may be given anti-depressants which will help the depression and perhaps lessen the effects of tinnitus.

Your GP is the person to best advise you on this matter.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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If you have any other questions, please contact us

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