Described as a “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus pertains to a condition of hearing sounds that originate within your body rather than from outside sources. Some of these sounds include buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing, and whistling. Meanwhile, others may hear music and noises that beat in sync with their heartbeat (pulsatile tinnitus). With tinnitus, one’s hearing isn’t as excellent as it once was, or it may be more sensitive to ordinary sounds (hyperacusis).
If you suspect that you’re experiencing this sensation, it would be wise to have a medical expert examine your ears. A check-up will also help you discover whether the problem is caused by an easily treatable ailment (i.e. earwax build-up), a severe hearing problem, or if it’s something else like tinnitus.
Until then, here are four basic facts you need to know about tinnitus:
Fact #1: Tinnitus Can Be a Severe Condition
Tinnitus is a symptom of a severe underlying illness in a tiny proportion of patients. For some, it may be a minor nuisance that comes and goes. However, it may also significantly impact everyday life and be highly unpleasant for some people.
When it becomes severe, it can reduce focus, cause insomnia and depression. While it may improve through time, it would still be best to seek medical attention. After all, letting it disappear or allowing your body to get used to it is not an inconvenience everybody could afford. When you can, go to a specialist and identify any underlying issue before things get worse.
Fact #2: Tinnitus Has No Clear Cause
Tinnitus can develop gradually or suddenly. It’s unknown why this happens, although it’s usually associated with some degree of hearing loss. Tinnitus is usually associated with age-related hearing loss, inner ear damage from repeated exposure to loud noises, earwax buildup, or a middle ear infection.
Meanwhile, Ménière’s disease, which causes hearing loss and vertigo (a spinning sensation), might play a role. Hearing loss is caused by otosclerosis, a genetic condition characterised by faulty bone growth in the middle ear.
Fact #3: Tinnitus Affects a Wide Range of People
Unbeknownst to many, the vast majority of the population has experienced Tinnitus after being exposed to extreme noises, such as music experienced at a concert. Tinnitus may affect people of all ages, including babies, although it is more common in those over the age of 65.
Remember that one out of every three people who suffer from tinnitus has no apparent ear or hearing issues, making it necessary to get your hearing checked regularly.
Fact #4: Tinnitus Can Be Managed through Various Therapies
There is yet not one tinnitus therapy that works for everyone. Efforts to develop a feasible treatment, on the other hand, are still ongoing. If an underlying cause of your tinnitus can be discovered, correctly addressing it may help improve your tinnitus. For example, removing earwax build-up may help.
If a particular cause cannot be identified, these therapies will focus on assisting you in the everyday management of the disease:
- Sound Therapy: Sound therapy allows patients to listen to neutral noises to take their minds off the ringing in their ears.
- Counselling: Counselling is a type of treatment that teaches patients more about tinnitus and how to deal with it more efficiently.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of treatment that tries to modify how a patient may think about tinnitus to become less apparent.
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT): TRT is a treatment that tries to retrain a patient’s brain’s response to tinnitus. Similar to CBT, this allows patients to tune out the Tinnitus and become less conscious of it.
Thanks to the world’s advancement, you finally have the word to describe all that noise you’re hearing! By understanding tinnitus more, you also become more aware of how it could affect you in the long run. As we’ve said, you must seek medical advice before a simple ringing or buzzing could turn into a severe problem.
Are you experiencing hearing problems? Country Hearing Care can assist you in seamless hearing assessments and hearing aid fitting and maintenance across the regional towns from Echuca to Broken Hill. With our team of certified hearing clinicians, you’ll be sure to improve your hearing and your quality of life. Schedule an appointment today!