Home > Ear Health
Everything you need to know about tinnitus
Simply put, Tinnitus is the occurrence of sounds in the ear that seem internal rather than an external source. It can occur suddenly or gradually over a long period while the sensation can be continuous or sporadic. For people who suffer from tinnitus, it can be heard in one ear or both and in some circumstances is hard to locate, especially when there is background noise present. .
The majority of the time, tinnitus is not a sign of a serious condition and can improve over time. Tinnitus is common and will likely affect everybody at some point in their lives. However, there is a strong link between tinnitus and hearing loss, therefore we recommend getting your hearing tested if you think you may be suffering from the condition. The cause is still unknown however; individuals with hearing loss and/or ear related issues seem to be most exposed.
What causes tinnitus?
The exact cause of tinnitus is not known as it is not a disease or an illness. Tinnitus, like pain, is merely a symptom of another condition or phenomenon in the body or brain.
Some factors that can play a part in the cause of tinnitus: a build up of earwax, a perforated eardrum, a middle ear infection and side effects from certain medications.
We recommend you speak to your local GP for a list of medicinal products which can be harmful.
Types of tinnitus
This is the most common of the four. Subjective tinnitus is the sound heard inside the ear by just the sufferer. This is caused by problems within the ear and problems with your hearing nerves communicating with your brain.
This is a rare form which is caused by involuntary muscle contractions or vascular deformities. After treatment of the cause the tinnitus typically goes away. This type of tinnitus is the only one that can be heard by an outside observer and the only one that can have a permanent cure.
This form is linked to your sensory systems. It can appear when sensory signals from parts of your body are affected, causing a spasm. This type is usually only found in one ear.
Neurological tinnitus can appear when your nervous system has a disease. Symptoms of this form are dizziness, vertigo and issues with staying balanced.
How do I know if I have tinnitus?
Here are some indications that may mean you suffer from tinnitus:
Tips to ease tinnitus
Sadly, Tinnitus cannot be cured but we do have some tips to help you relieve the symptoms:
High levels of anxiety can worsen the symptoms
This is a good way to release energy and occupy your mind to prevent you from worrying.
Try to work through problems in the morning rather than at night and find relaxation techniques to prepare the body for sleep.
What else can be done?
Tinnitus counselling is available, it’s good to talk
Listen to soft sounds which help you relax; make sure it is pleasant or neutral.
Contact us for more information about treatment and management plans which can be tailored to your individual needs.