• The Mobile Hearing Clinic Ltd.

TINNITUS WEEK 2022 - Can you hear that too?

As this week is Tinnitus Week, we wanted to share some information which may help if are suffering with tinnitus or simply provide a little more insight into this condition.

WHAT IS TINNITUS?

Tinnitus is any sound perceived in the ear without an external noise source. Symptoms of tinnitus vary, although it is common to hear ringing, whooshing, humming or buzzing in the ear. These sounds can be continuous, or they can come and go. The tinnitus might seem like it’s in one ear or both, in the middle of the head or even be difficult to pinpoint. Some people perceive the noise is coming from outside and hunt down the source, until they discover it is actually inside their own head! Occasionally, but rarely, some people develop musical tinnitus or ‘auditory hallucinations’, where a song can play over and over and some people hear constant chatting in the background. Imagine hearing Jingle Bells all day. Every day. And not being able to switch it off - not a pleasant thought! For most of us however, these noises are transient and often come and leave, not causing too much bother at all.


WHO DOES IT AFFECT?

We are all susceptible to tinnitus. Some people develop it in early childhood, some after taking a new medication, some after taking a plane flight, some following surgery, some people simply wake up with it one morning. However, those with hearing loss, working in high noise levels without ear protection or avid music enthusiasts who enjoy listening to music at a high level are at increased risk of developing tinnitus.


About 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives but the number of people who live with persistent tinnitus is approximately 13% (over 1 in 8). Tinnitus is more common in people who have hearing loss or other ear problems, but it can also be found in people with normal hearing.


The experience of tinnitus is different for different people. Most people find that they are able to continue their normal day-to-day activities. However, a small percentage of people with tinnitus report it as severely affecting them.


WHAT CAUSES TINNITUS?

This isn’t fully understood yet by the medical and scientific profession. However, whilst we do not know the exact answer to what causes tinnitus, we do know that it is not a disease or an illness. It is generally agreed that tinnitus results from some type of change, either mental or physical, not necessarily related to hearing.

IS THERE A CURE?

Unfortunately, not yet. However, there are things we can do to alleviate the symptoms. For example, you could try introducing low level sound into the background such as TV or Radio which can act as a distraction. Relaxation techniques can also be beneficial. If you already have a hearing loss, then wearing hearing aids can help make the tinnitus less noticeable and more manageable. Seek advice and management techniques from your GP or a fully trained hearing care professional.


WHERE DO I TURN FOR HELP?

If you find you are becoming more aware of your tinnitus, if it's affecting your sleep or your concentration, if it is becoming bothersome and is causing you to worry, then speak to your GP or Audiologist. We often hear patients say they have mentioned tinnitus to their GP and were advised that nothing can be done! This isn’t true, there is lots of help out there via support groups, The British Tinnitus Association, ENT, Tinnitus trained Audiologists and Hearing Therapists amongst others, all who offer support, education and management techniques to help deal with your tinnitus. You can find a wealth of information and support via the following websites:


https://rnid.org.uk/information-and-support/tinnitus/

https://www.tinnitus.org.uk

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tinnitus/


Or if you would like to see a private Audiologist with specialist training in all aspects of tinnitus, then we would recommend speaking with Sally Jackson who is contactable via the following address: https://hearingandtinnitus.co.uk


Thank you for reading and we hope our blog makes a small contribution in raising awareness for Tinnitus Week 2022!



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