What is that sound in your ears?

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when there is no external sound stimuli, it is most described as a ringing, but it may also sound like a clicking, buzzing, hissing or rumbling/roaring sound. It can range in volume and pitch, and can be heard in one or both ears. The causes can range from earwax build-up, to head injuries, to noise-induced hearing loss.

Tinnitus is most noticeable when it is quiet. It is linked with attention and when there are everyday sounds around, they draw your brain’s attention away so the tinnitus is not as noticeable.

What can be done?

  1. Tinnitus is often related to hearing problems or hearing loss. You may need to see an Audiologist for a hearing test.
  2. Tinnitus retraining therapy, performed by suitable trained therapists, is another established way of helping tinnitus.
  3. Tinnitus may sometimes be caused by neck or shoulder problems, you may want to see someone if this is the case.
  4. A great many drugs have been tried in the hope that they might relieve tinnitus. Most have not had any noticeable effect on the tinnitus and often cause side effects such as nausea or heart palpitations. Although drug research on tinnitus is going on constantly so far there has not been a breakthrough, we are all waiting.

Tinnitus Self Help Tips

So the tinnitus is causing significant stress and you probably need to improve your coping skills and reduce stress in your life. Here are some tips on managing your tinnitus:

  1. Maintain good sleep practices: regular bedtimes and avoiding big meals and caffeine before bed. A sound generator or tinnitus app on your bedside that plays different sounds and help reduce tinnitus.
  2. Think positive and learn to relax, there are various techniques like breathing exercises
  3. A healthy diet or daily exercise will make you feel stronger and better able to cope with tinnitus.
  4. Try not to focus on the unpleasant or stressful aspect of your tinnitus. Don’t feel you must fight it all the time. Try to think of it as just something you have, like your hair colour, your height or your disposition.
  5. Learn more about your tinnitus. The more you know about a problem, any problem, the more you are in control and the less helplessness you feel in dealing with it.
  6. Wear hearing protection. Sometimes this can trigger tinnitus.
  7. Talking to other people who have tinnitus can also be a big help. You might learn some new tips about how to get along better with your tinnitus.

When will I need to see a hearing specialist or medical professional

  1. If you experience spinning dizziness, changes in hearing, blocked feeling in your ears
  2. Tinnitus is causing significant stress and need more help in understanding and managing it