Do you have occasional or constant noise in the ears? Tinnitus has been described as a ringing, buzzing, humming, roaring, whistling or clicking sound. Tinnitus is very common and is experienced by many people. Learn about causes, what makes it worse, action to take, and how hearing aids help.
What is Tinnitus?
It is a physical condition experienced as occasional or constant noise in the ears. It has been variously described as a ringing, buzzing, humming, roaring, whistling or clicking sound. For some people, living with the condition can be disturbing and debilitating.
It is estimated that over 30% of the Australian population suffer from tinnitus.* It can interfere with sleep, increase anxiety and restrict your life – affecting work, family and social relationships. Tinnitus may be more noticeable in quiet, such as when going to bed or early in the morning. It affects people in different ways and everyone’s perception, awareness and reaction can vary greatly. For some people it can be just an occasional annoyance, however, for others it can have a significant impact on their daily life.
Shout Hearing Healthcare have a comprehensive tinnitus assessment and rehabilitation program that takes into account these unique experiences of tinnitus. Relief from tinnitus is available now. Make an appointment to discuss how we can help.
*Sindhusake,D., Mitchell,P., Newall,P., Golding,M., Rochtchina,E., Rubin,G. (2003) Prevalence and Characteristics of Tinnitus in Older Adults: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study. International Journal of Audiology July; 42 (5) 289 – 294.
What Causes it?
The mechanisms of tinnitus are not well understood, however, it usually indicates a fault in the hearing pathway. It is a symptom of this fault which may be in the ear canal, the cochlea, the auditory nerve or the brain. Tinnitus is commonly linked with a hearing loss, however, it can be present with normal hearing. There are a number of causes including:
- Middle ear infection
- Dental or jaw problems (TMJ – temporo-mandibular joint)
- Exposure to loud noises
- Inner ear damage
- Hearing loss
- Meniere’s disease
- Some medications
What Makes It Worse?
Sudden or long-term exposure to noise can result in hearing loss and tinnitus. People who work in a very noisy environment are at risk. It is essential that those workers wear personal ear protection when working with noisy equipment and machinery. Noise associated with leisure activities can also be a hazard, for example, at concerts or by setting the volume too high on a personal music device.
Other factors that can make it worse:
- Moving to a very quiet environment can make tinnitus more noticeable
It is essential to inform your GP if you’re suffering from any symptoms of tinnitus. What action should I take?