How do I know if I have Tinnitus?

You might experience tinnitus in two ears or just one. For some people these sounds are a constant presence in their ears and for others they come and go. Either way, it can be incredibly annoying.

Tinnitus isn’t just one specific sound or pitch. People experience a whole range of noises including:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Clicking
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Throbbing
  • Roaring
  • Music or singing
  • Beat which matches your pulse/heartbeat- this particular sound can indicate a more serious health issue and you should seek medical advice promptly.

The quieter your environment, the more obvious (and more annoying) the sound will be. Furthermore, the more you focus on the noise the louder it can seem. As a result, falling asleep or spending much time in silence can be quite difficult for those who experience tinnitus.

Tinnitus can lead to a general increase in hearing sensitivity. For some people, a sound level that it is completely normal for other people can seem far too loud to them.

Temporary tinnitus is actually quite common, with people frequently experiencing it after a loud concert or night out. However, for others it is a more permanent and persistent issue. If you fall into the latter category we would recommend that you seek advice from our highly experienced advisors. My Hearing will provide you with the tools to manage your tinnitus and live as normal a life as possible.

Causes Of Tinnitus

information and advice

The cause of tinnitus is not always simple to identify. However, it is often an indicator that there is another underlying hearing loss issue. With that in mind, the causes of tinnitus are very similar to other forms of hearing loss:

Age

Gradual hearing loss is a common feature of ageing, and for some people, this can result in tinnitus. As we age, wear and tear causes us to lose some of the highly sensitive inner ear hair cells.

Earwax

A buildup of earwax can result in tinnitus.

Ménière’s Disease

As well as giving you the unpleasant sensation of vertigo and dizziness, Ménière’s disease can also lead to tinnitus.

Diabetes, Thyroid Disorders or Anaemia

Tinnitus is a possible side effect of all three health conditions.

Stress, Anxiety or Depression

Mental health is not generally considered to be a direct cause of tinnitus but it can certainly exaggerate the effects and make it more difficult to manage.

Ototoxic Medication

Some drugs used to treat serious health conditions can cause tinnitus as a side effect. These include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and chemotherapy medications.

Noise Exposure

If you are exposed to relatively loud noise over a period of time, without ear protection, you could develop tinnitus.

Treatments for Tinnitus

Whilst there is no cure for tinnitus, you can take steps to minimise its impact and live as normal and full a life as possible. We are more than willing to provide you with advice and guidance on potential mechanisms, from counselling to tinnitus masking devices. It can be all too easy to let tinnitus to push you into isolation. We want to help you stay connected and enjoy those special moments in life.

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Also known as retraining therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most common forms of tinnitus treatment. While it can’t get rid of your tinnitus, it can help reduce some of the associated feelings of anxiety and loss of control. It works by training your mind to fixate on something other than the tinnitus sound.

To do this, the counsellor will work with you understand the negative emotions you experience as a result of your tinnitus, and when it is at its worst. For a period of time they may ask you to record your thoughts throughout the day, noting when your tinnitus becomes particularly bothersome. In your sessions you will then work together to discern how you react to your tinnitus in different situations. The focus is very much on you feeling like you’re in control, accepting that which you cannot change and discovering how you can trick your mind into ignoring the sound.

Ideally, cognitive behavioural therapy will get you to a point where you only need to use masking noises in particular situations, such as falling asleep.

2. Tinnitus Treatment Masking Device

A tinnitus masking device looks like and is worn like a hearing aid. They work by emitting a constant low-level and soothing noise that counteracts and masks the tinnitus sound. When issuing you with one, your hearing specialist will adjust the volume and pitch for the most effective results possible. As well as a hearing aid style device, other tinnitus masking tools are available. For example, there are pillows with built-in speakers and personalised home speakers that will play your require masking sound, allowing you to remove your ear device when at home.

3. Tinnitus Suppression Medication

In some instances, tinnitus suppression medication is prescribed to suppress some of the symptoms. As with all medication, these drugs can have a number of side effects and so they are generally only prescribed to those with severe tinnitus.

Sometimes, tinnitus is simply a symptom of an underlying health issue. For example, diabetes or a blood vessel problem. If that condition is successfully treated and dealt with, the tinnitus can disappear. Earwax is a frequent cause of tinnitus and its removal can often solve the problem.

In addition to all these types of tinnitus treatment, we would recommend that you join a tinnitus support group. There you will be able to discuss and share your experiences with other people in similar situations. It may also be worth looking up deep breathing exercises or yoga techniques to help focus your mind elsewhere.

We’re Here For You

If you are searching for guidance and further information on tinnitus treatment, get in touch today. We partner with highly experienced hearing aid dispensers who can provide you with expert advice on your diagnosis, ensuring that you receive the most suitable treatment.

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