Correct Hearing BLOG

Hearing Masterclass – Hearing and Tinnitus

“Tinnitus” comes from the Latin verb meaning “to ring.” Its modern use covers the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, or other noises with no external source.

Tinnitus can be constant or intermittent. It can be loud or soft. But, whatever its exact nature, it is very common. Some 7 million adults in the UK suffer from tinnitus.

Causes of Tinnitus
There are various causes of tinnitus. By far, the most common – a factor in around 90% of cases – is prolonged exposure to loud noise. Anyone whose occupation or hobby involves loud noise is a potential tinnitus sufferer. Rock musicians, for example, often consider tinnitus an inevitable result of their profession. Other workers in noisy environments should always wear protection.

Other causes include:
● Ear infection
● Blockage in the ear

An Audiologist can often treat these two causes simply and painlessly. If the treatment is successful, the tinnitus may cease. If the problem persists, your audiologist must turn to other therapies.

Other Causes of Tinnitus:
● A side-effect of prescription medicines or other drugs, including long-term use of medications
● An injury to the neck or head
● Medical conditions such as anaemia, circulatory problems, and high blood pressure
● Natural problems associated with ageing

Tinnitus Can Affect Hearing
Firstly, it’s important to stress that there is no causal link between tinnitus and hearing loss. Having tinnitus doesn’t cause hearing loss. Conversely, hearing loss doesn’t cause tinnitus.
Some people with tinnitus can dismiss it as merely an inconvenience. However, for others, it can cause considerable distress. If the noise they hear is loud enough, it can drown out external noises and make it difficult to understand normal conversation.
Some people with tinnitus develop hyperacusis, a condition that makes them over-sensitive to external sound. These people might have to muffle their hearing to deal with the problem.

Treating Tinnitus
Treatment depends on the cause. Various possibilities include:
● Treating the underlying infection
● Removing built-up earwax
● Wearing sound maskers as white noise might cancel out tinnitus in some cases
● Changing prescription medication
● Donning a hearing aid or two might help with age-related tinnitus
● Prescribing medication to help with tinnitus
Yet, some patients may not find relief from their tinnitus and learn to adapt.

Tinnitus is a term that covers conditions of varying degrees of seriousness. The causes and treatments vary greatly too. To uncover the true cause of the problem, an Audiologist may have to do some detective work. We are happy to do this for you to help you have an easier life – Get in touch today