At Help in Hearing, we provide superior consultancy, advice, and support to enable our clients to get on top of any hearing issues they’re experiencing, and we find that lots of the people that come to us do so because they’re affected by one condition in particular: tinnitus.
Causing individuals to hear certain sounds that come from inside their body rather than outside, tinnitus often manifests itself as a sort of ringing noise in the ears, although it is also reported as a buzzing, whistling, hissing, grinding, and humming sensation. It can even be heard as noises similar to music and singing.
This can be very annoying for those affected by tinnitus, especially because the condition can also be accompanied by a slight deterioration in your hearing, or an increased sensitivity to everyday sounds.
If any of this sounds familiar, you might want to keep on reading to find out what causes tinnitus and and how to treat tinnitus…
If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing tinnitus, rest assured that you needn’t worry too much. Rarely a sign of anything serious, it is usually irritating, but not detrimental to your health.
However, more severe cases can have a greater impact on the everyday lives of people who experience tinnitus, with some claiming to find it distressing, and feeling that it impacts their concentration, causes difficulty sleeping, and even depression.
Although the condition will usually resolve itself gradually, this is why some choose to seek medical help to treat the problem and ensure a quicker resolution.
Causes of tinnitus
If you feel you might be affected, you’re probably wondering what causes tinnitus. There are a number of possible catalysts, including but not limited to:
• Age-related hearing loss
• Repeated exposure to loud noises
• A build-up of earwax
• A middle ear infection
• Otosclerosis (an inherited condition causing abnormal bone growth inside the ear)
However, do note that around one-third of cases have no obvious cause.
How to treat tinnitus
If you believe that you’re experiencing tinnitus and would like to seek treatment for the condition, there’s plenty that can be done for it. Although no single method works for everyone, there are lots of possibilities to try.
If there is an underlying cause, resolving this is one place to start. This means that should you have earwax, for example, it may be as simple as having this removed. If the catalyst is less specific, one of the following might be suggested:
- Hearing aids: Many people find that wearing hearing aids to correct their hearing also reduces or completely gets rid of their tinnitus.
- Sound therapy: This is where the tinnitus affected person listens to neutral sounds in order to distract from the symptoms of tinnitus. A number of hearing aids now offer many therapeutic listening options such as soothing harmonic tones to help you relax and manage your tinnitus.
- Counselling: Where tinnitus is affecting your quality of life, you may also be encouraged to try counselling, in order to learn how best to cope with the condition.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): Therapy can also be useful for some individuals, helping them to focus less on the noise they hear so its impact is reduced.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT): Similar to the above, TRT can be used to retrain the way your brain responds to tinnitus, teaching it to tune out the sounds so you’re less affected by them.
At Help in Hearing we offer a Tinnitus pre-assessment appointment to give you the opportunity to discuss your condition with the audiologist before moving on to any management programmes. This appointment is charged at £75. We also run Tinnitus Support Group but this is currently on hold due to Covid19 restrictions. The British Tinnitus Association are currently offering online support groups which may be of help to you.
Or to find out more call us on 03452220579.