Tinnitus – What Is That Ringing Sound In My Ears?
Tinnitus is one Australia’s more unheard of hearing issues, however it is far more prevalent than our health industry gives it credit for. Up to one in five Australians may experience Tinnitus, and it is a solid indication that a hearing assessment is required.
Tinnitus is best described as an internal ringing or buzzing type noise in the ear which is experienced often in quieter settings, where no other external noise is noticeable. The internal sound can be unique for each person, and whilst it is not a painful experience, it can cause a great deal of irritation and therefore stress and anxiety, especially in the evening times when you are external noise is lowered in the bedroom, before you attempt to sleep. Studies have also shown that up to 90% of patients with tinnitus also have a measurable hearing deficiency. And this most often corresponds to the same or similar frequency or pitch of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is never the same for each patient, and how it can affect each patient will vary considerably depending on the type of life style they lead. Factors such as age, diet, side effects to medicine, the location you live and previous injury history all become factors in the degree of Tinnitus experienced and how it can be managed.
Tinnitus may only be temporary for some patients, especially for those people who have had recent exposure to a load noise e.g. may work in construction or have visited a music concert recently. However, once this intrusive sound is noticed and it becomes a constant distraction, it is strongly advised that you visit a local Independent Hearing Clinic for an initial assessment and tinnitus test, to assess the appropriate course of action.
If your Audiologist assesses that your Tinnitus is most likely to be a permanent condition and is also associated with a hearing loss, then it is often advised it is advised that a tinnitus specific hearing aid which can lower the level of the internal sounds you experience, be fitted and tested. A professionally fitted hearing aid for your condition can provide a greater balance between the external and internal sounds and provide a much more comfortable, less stressful environment for you to live in, especially in the evenings when sleep is required.
There is no exact cure for Tinnitus and whilst a hearing aid will help reduce the annoyance and internal sound experience, it is also recommended that patients visit a specialist who can help with techniques to avoid the distraction it may cause e.g. mediation, as well as reduce exposure to load noises more often and potentially look at other positive lifestyle changes.
The good news is you are not alone, with approx. 20% of Australians experiencing Tinnitus, it is a far more common issue than most people think.
Have a discussion with your local Audiologist at Focus Hearing to find out what other types of tests may be require and what type of help and support is regularly available in your community.