If you have a ringing/buzzing/whistling/humming noise in your ears, you have something called Tinnitus. Many people experience tinnitus as a ringing noise in their head or ears, but in fact, it can take a variety of forms. Tinnitus can be constant or intermittent, experienced in one ear or both ears, can be soft or loud and can have a gradual or sudden onset. For most people, tinnitus is a subjective sound which means that only the person who has it can hear it.
What causes Tinnitus?
It is important for you to know that tinnitus is a symptom and NOT a disease. Inside the ear are tiny hair cells that convert the sounds you hear into signals the brain can understand. If some of these hair cells are damaged, the brain receives fewer signals. Research suggests that our brain tries to compensate for the missing signals by producing a new sound in their place. This is the most common reason for the sounds that people with tinnitus hear in their heads.
There are many possible causes of tinnitus, some of which include: exposure to loud sounds, sudden impact noises, natural ageing process, certain medical conditions, reaction to medication and injuries to the head and neck.
Tinnitus in turn can cause sleepless nights, constant anxiety, mood swings, helpless depression, energy sapping exhaustion and overall stress. The more one focuses on or gets anxious about the tinnitus, the more prevalent it will become. This is what we call the Vicious Cycle.
Can my tinnitus be treated?
There are many ways to take control of your tinnitus and reduce its impact on your life. Although there is no cure for tinnitus, your hearing care professional can help you take back control and manage the symptoms. Education and counselling along with sound therapy can be an effective combination. Just as no two people experience the exact same symptoms of tinnitus, treating it needs to be personalised to your own needs.
What is sound therapy?
Sound therapy means listening to sounds. It can be a helpful tool in managing your tinnitus. Sound cannot eliminate tinnitus. However, sound can make it seem like the tinnitus is eliminated or reduced. Sound can help you focus your attention on something more pleasant. By listening to different types of sound, it becomes easier to shift your attention away from the tinnitus sound. Together with your hearing professional, you can find the sound therapy, that gives you the most relief.
Book an appointment and I will do the necessary tests to determine the way forward in managing or treating your tinnitus.