Ringing in your ears?

 What is Tinnitus?

Ringing, Buzzing, Whistling

What is Tinnitus?

The condition can occur at any age and is not a disease.

Rather, its a symptom arising from many possible causes, most usually after exposure to excessive noise levels and/or noise-induced hearing loss.

Tinnitus can be described as a persistent ear noise when no external noise is present. An estimated 20% of the population is thought to experience tinnitus at some point in their lives. In fact, research has shown that temporary tinnitus can develop in anyone in an abnormally quiet environment. While some people describe it as an unpleasant ringing in the ears, others describe it as hissing, roaring or buzzing.

Tinnitus varies from person to person, being bothersome to some and just a mild nuisance to others. It can be affected by ongoing noise exposure, as well as stress and the general health of the individual. Many people will spontaneously habituate to their tinnitus over time but, for those who find it distressing, a therapeutic approach to tinnitus management, aiming for a reduced awareness and disturbance, is recommended. This may include amplification (if a hearing loss is present), sound therapy and counselling.

CAN YOU SUDDENLY GET TINNITUS?

The condition can occur at any age, and is usually brought on by exposure to excessive noise levels. It can also occur as a result from the natural ageing process, as well as a side effect of certain medications and head injuries. Listening to music through headphones at a loud volume can also cause damage that leads to tinnitus.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY TINNITUS?

An estimated 20% of the population is thought to suffer from tinnitus. While some cases are mild enough to allow sufferers get on with their daily lives without tinnitus therapy, more severe cases of tinnitus symptoms can be extremely disruptive, making it difficult to concentrate. This in turn can cause anxiety, depression, sleep disruptions, relationship stress and even employment challenges.

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Is there a cure?

While there is no cure, it is possible to learn how to manage the condition with tinnitus retraining therapy for the psychological aspects. Our specialists can also offer advice on how to live with tinnitus, including how to overcome your fears, obey the do’s and don’ts of the condition, and manage sleep.

Victorian Hearing provides an individualised Tinnitus Management Program. Treatment options will be discussed, if appropriate, and strategies devised to help you manage the tinnitus.

man holding ear

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