Can anyone hear that besides me? That is a question 15 to 20 percent of Australians ask themselves every day. According to Better Health Australia this is the estimated number of people suffering from some degree of Tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
The simple answer to this question is that Tinnitus is when you hear sounds in your head that aren’t really there. And, no, it doesn’t mean you have a screw loose. It takes many forms from a soft hissing or humming sound in the ears to louder clicking, buzzing and roaring noises. It may occur in one ear or both and can be loud enough to interfere with concentration and normal conversations. For some people it is a near-constant companion while others only suffer intermittently.
What causes Tinnitus?
There are two types of Tinnitus; subjective and objective. Objective Tinnitus, which is very rare, is when you hear sounds and your doctor can also detect them when he examines you. It may be caused by a middle ear bone condition, a blood vessel problem, or muscle contractions.
Subjective Tinnitus, the most common type, is when only you can hear the sounds. It can have many causes ranging from viral infections, earwax build-up and exposure to loud noises to problems with your outer, middle or inner ear, some medications and even issues with that part of your brain that interprets sounds.
Help for Tinnitus
If it is determined that your Tinnitus is the result of an underlying treatable medical condition it might possibly be eliminated with proper care by your physician. If the condition isn’t medically treatable or as often is the case the cause cannot be determined then there is still hope. There are a number of electronic devices and strategies that a certified audiologist can assist you with to bring relief.
White noise machines
These devices are most useful when your Tinnitus interrupts your sleeping habits. They produce sounds like falling rain, ocean waves or static that helps mask the sound in your ears and help you rest. Fans, air conditioners and dehumidifiers can serve the same purpose depending on the severity of your Tinnitus.
If you have hearing issues beyond Tinnitus hearing aids can be very beneficial especially if you are developing communication problems.
Tinnitus masking devices look very similar to hearing aids but work in a completely different manner. They produce a low level of white noise that helps to suppress the Tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus retraining involves wearing another device similar to a hearing aid but unlike a hearing aid or masking device. It delivers tonal music individually programmed to mask the specific frequencies of the tinnitus you experience. Often used in conjunction with counselling this helps you to learn to ignore the noise in your ears.
Whether caused by ageing, nerve damage, an accident, illness or any one of the other factors that can contribute to the development of Tinnitus, help is available. Our team of specialists are experienced and have a wide range of solutions that will benefit you. Make a move today and schedule an appointment.