Do you ever hear sounds when there is no external noise present? This is a condition known as Tinnitus and it is quite common. Up to one-third of the population will experience tinnitus at some time in their life but fortunately only about 2% find it debilitating.
For some people, the noises come and go and for others, they are always present. It is often described as “ringing” but it can also sound like clicking, hissing roaring or buzzing in the ears.
Bruce Allen of Hear- Clear says, “While tinnitus is common, the experience varies from person to person. Most people can live with the sounds but some people find it very distressing.”
What is known about tinnitus?
- It is often associated with hearing loss. Approximately 80% of people with tinnitus have a hearing loss.
- Tinnitus is a function of your brain which “creates” a noise to fill a perceived gap in the sounds it is processing.
- It can be caused by any number of past experiences like noise exposure, medications, ear infections, ear wax, jaw problems as well normal ageing.
- The severity of the tinnitus usually increases with the amount of attention, the sufferer pays to the sounds.
What can be done for tinnitus?
- Get your hearing tested and discuss your symptoms with a hearing specialist.
- Wearing hearing aids can reduce the severity of the tinnitus. In addition, some hearing aids include features that can mask the noise.
- Relaxation, stress reduction and mindfulness can help. When tinnitus is severe, finding a pleasant distraction can make a difference.
- If certain foods or medications seem to make the tinnitus worse, try eliminating them.