Tinnitus – The Facts

By Frankie Goodman 12th December 2019 Always Hear

Tinnitus suffers in the UK it’s thought to be over 6 million people, and it can vary in intensity and severity.

Tinnitus is the term for any noise that is heard in your head or ears without any objective sound source. Commonly it sounds like ringing, buzzing or whistling in the ears although it can be any particular sound, sometimes quite unique to the individual. It’s a sound generated within a person’s own auditory pathways.

Worldwide, there are estimated to be 250 million people with tinnitus. For some people it comes and goes and is a small irritant, but in more severe cases it is present permanently, possibly having a major influence on quality of life and causing problems with sleep, concentration, anxiety and stress. About 10% of us experience tinnitus frequently, and approximately 5% of the adult population in the UK experience issues.

Lots of people can get occasional ringing (or other sound) in the ears, either without any clear trigger or after exposure to loud sounds, be it at work or socially. Tinnitus may be an accompaniment to sensorineural or congenital hearing loss, or it may be observed as a side effect from certain medications. However, a common cause is noise-induced hearing loss.

Tinnitus sufferer

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Whilst we know what conditions may lead to tinnitus, it is difficult to say what may be the absolute cause in each case. Some common contributors to tinnitus include: Noise Exposure, Stress, Hearing Loss and Medication Side Effects.

What can be done?

Therapies vary and it is important to point out that we can only talk about relieving tinnitus. Most therapies revolve around counselling to manage the problem and using alternative forms of sound as a distraction to the tinnitus.

Research shows that 3 out of 4 tinnitus sufferers benefit from using a hearing aid device as this can increase amplification and reduce the awareness of the sound. Some hearing instruments, such as hearing aid devices, feature special programs that play soothing harmonic tones in a rhythmic wave like pattern, designed to help you relax and reduce stress − both of which help making tinnitus less noticeable. For some, the effects can be immediate, but for most it will take time.

It is difficult to know what might work for you until you’ve spoken to someone who can offer specialist advice. If you’re not sure what to do, then maybe the best course of action would be to book a hearing appointment and speak to one of our hearing health professionals.

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