Stop The Ringing in Your Ears: Tinnitus

“Do you experience ringing in the ears?”

“It’s probably more than just your imagination.”

Tinnitus is not a disease, but rather, a symptom of an underlying condition. It affects one in five people, and can be perceived in one or both ears, or in the head.

Types of Tinnitus

Subjective tinnitus

This is the most common type of tinnitus – only you can hear the sound. They are often described as roaring, hissing, whistling, buzzing or clicking sounds, the sounds of crickets or high-pitched ringing.

 Possible causes

Problems in the outer, middle or inner ear, auditory nerves or the part of the brain that interprets nerve signals as sound. For instance, Meniere’s disease, acoustic neuroma, drugs and medications.

 

 

 

 

 

Objective tinnitus

This type of tinnitus is rare and forms less than 5% of all the tinnitus cases. The sound can be heard by yourself as well as the doctor when he or she does an examination.

 

 

 

 

 

Possible causes

Blood vessel problems, middle ear bone condition or muscle contractions. For instance, narrowing of the carotid artery, benign intracranial hypertension, jaw joint misalignment problems.

What Happens?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound therapy

Amplified sound from hearing aids, environmental influences, music, or noise generators can help minimise the contrast between the buzzing or ringing of tinnitus and the surrounding sound environment.

Counselling

Assessment and counselling with an experienced hearing healthcare professional trained in managing tinnitus can help determine the cause of your tinnitus and minimise the negative impact it may have on your quality of life. The effects of tinnitus can often be lessened by a combination of counselling and sound therapy.

Relaxation exercises

Stress can often make tinnitus worse. Relaxation exercises can help to relax tensed muscles and improve circulation, which may improve the condition for some. Read a book, go for a walk, and practise breathing techniques!

 

Want to find out more on the common causes of tinnitus and how you can protect your ears? Stay tuned to our next article on The Source of Silence: Common Causes of Tinnitus

 

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