Tinnitus is the perception of sounds or noise within the ears with no external sound source.
Tinnitus is a common problem that effects a large of number of adults in Ireland each year. Tinnitus is not a condition but an actual symptom related to hearing loss. Quite often people are surprised they may be experiencing a loss of hearing.
Age related hearing loss (presbycusis) generally occurs as we grow older. The HSE estimates that in Ireland 17% of the population have some sort of hearing loss. Data from the UK indicate that approximately 28% of people who are hearing impaired are between 16-60 years old, and 72% are over 60 years old.
People who experience Tinnitus can experience different hearing sensations. People often describe a ringing, humming or murmuring noise. Others experience a high sensitivity to external sounds including the volume of the television, road works or traffic noise. The difference in sound levels vary from individuals who suffer from hearing loss.
Tinnitus can affect the quality of a person’s sleep, we have had patients explain they experience a loud ringing when trying to sleep. The severity can range from mild to severe which can deteriorate the quality of your life.
Potential Causes of Tinnitus
Hearing Loss is one of the most common causes of Tinnitus. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) naturally occurs as we grow older. A full hearing assessment can address any concerns you may have.
Prolonged exposure to loud noises:
Exposure to loud noises over time can damage the fine hair cells. Quite often patients visit our clinics with a complaint of Tinnitus.
Compacted ear wax:
In some cases a patient may experience an ear wax build up within the inner ear. This build-up can cause mild hearing loss that can result in Tinnitus. An ear examination with a professional Audiologist can determine if compacted wax is present. Our Audiologists can perform Microsuction ear wax removal that safely removes ear wax. Our Audiologists recommend using Earol Olive Oil Spray to loosen the wax before the procedure.
Ear infections can cause mild Tinnitus, after recovering from your ear infection. It is always best to consult your GP or Audiologists if you are experiencing some form of Tinnitus.
Glue ear normally affects children occurs when there is a build up fluid within the inner ear. Normally an ear, nose or throat infection. If you suspect you or your child has glue ear, please contact your GP.
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