All About Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the term for hearing sounds that come from inside your head, rather than from an outside source. It's often described as "ringing in the ears", although several sounds can be heard, including:
Some people may hear sounds similar to music or singing, and others hear noises that beat in time with their pulse (pulsatile tinnitus) You may also notice that your hearing is not as good as it used to be or you're more sensitive to everyday sounds (hyperacusis).
Tinnitus is common in people over the age of 40, but is becoming increasingly prevalent in younger people as well because of increased daily noise levels, including those caused by the unrestrained use of MP3s, iPods and other personal stereos. Other causes could be drugs, diseases, stress or head injuries.
Tinnitus can develop gradually over time or occur suddenly. It's not clear exactly why it happens, but it often occurs along with some degree of hearing loss.
Tinnitus is often associated with:
- age-related hearing loss
- inner ear damage caused by repeated exposure to loud noises
- an earwax build-up
- a middle ear infection
- Ménière's disease – a condition that also causes hearing loss and vertigo (a spinning sensation)
However, around one in every three people with tinnitus doesn't have any obvious problem with their ears or hearing.
In some cases, tinnitus may get better gradually over time but severe cases can be very distressing, affect concentration and cause problems such as difficulty sleeping (insomnia) and depression.
There's currently no single treatment for tinnitus that works for everyone. However, we can help in finding the underlying cause for you and, if possible, provide appropriate remedy for you. Nevertheless, if the causes are not those we can address we will advise you of alternative appropriate courses of action.
If you are concerned you are, or maybe, suffering from tinnitus, give us a call now.