Tinnitus is a ringing, whistling, hissing or whooshing inside of the ear when there is no apparent source of sound. The buzzing or ringing sound can be persistent, intermittent and prolonged, causing frustration and great distress.
The types of sounds associated with tinnitus include:
Our hearing system can filter out unimportant sounds, so many people with tinnitus tune it out. Stress and anxiety about having tinnitus can affect your ability to tune it out, often worsening the condition.
Tinnitus causes concentration difficulties, sleep disturbance, avoidance of quiet or loud noises and difficulty relaxing. This can result in mood swings, distress, tension, irritability, sleep problems and depression.
Common tinnitus causes include:
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Trauma or extreme stress
- Degeneration of the hair cells in the cochlea
- Ear problems such as otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the middle ear)
- Meniere’s disease (swelling of a duct in the ear)
- Some medications
Diagnosing and Treating Tinnitus
Unfortunately, tinnitus is not a simple problem with a simple solution. Everybody’s tinnitus noise is specific to them, and as a result treatments need to be tailored to the individual.
Diagnosing tinnitus involves a physical examination and a hearing test where you’ll listen to specific sounds into one ear at a time. You'll indicate when you can hear the sound and have your results are compared with results considered normal for your age. This can help rule out or identify possible tinnitus causes.
The appropriate way of managing and treating tinnitus depends on the type and severity of tinnitus. The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss and evidence indicates that properly fitting hearing aids can reduce your perception of tinnitus by improving your hearing and taking away the strain of listening.
Contact Our Clinic for a Free Hearing Test Today
If you are experiencing an annoying buzzing sound in your ears and would like to discuss your options to manage it, call us on 07 3152 4056 to arrange an appointment to click here to make your booking online.