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: 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 Noise: Exposure to loud noises over time can damage the fine hair cells. Quite often patients visit our clinics with a complaint of Tinnitus.
Ear Wax Build Up: 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 a build up 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: Ear infections can cause mild Tinnitus, after recovering from your ear infection. It is always best to consult your GP or Audiologist if you are experiencing some form of Tinnitus.
Glue Ear: 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 have glue ear, please contact your GP.
Is There A Cure For Tinnitus?
At present there no is cure for Tinnitus but it can be managed effectively to reduce discomfort. Treatment for Tinnitus can be successful for one patient but not another, as there is no set treatment. We have found many patients have tried a number of treatments to try ease the discomfort.
Treatments For Tinnitus
To better understand the level of hearing loss, our Audiologists will always recommend a full hearing assessment. A Full hearing assessment can assist in diagnosing hearing loss. Our Audiologists can recommend if a hearing aid is suitable to help with Tinnitus.
Both Widex & Unitron have specially designed features available on some models to help Tinnitus. Recent studies have shown that the use of fractal sounds may represent a viable alternative for minimizing the annoyance caused by tinnitus. 17 Fractal tones appear to lead the listener to a pleasant and relaxing auditory experience and induce greater relaxation and stress relief compared with conventional music. Music-based sound therapies have recently become a focus of tinnitus treatment because they target two of the mechanisms that are assumed to underlie tinnitus: perception and reaction. Such targeting has not been previously attributed to a white noise device.
If you are concerned you may Tinnitus please do not hesitate to contact our Audiologists on 01-6978470. Our Master & Degree qualified Audiologists can provide a free hearing assessment in one of our nationwide clinics. We also offer a daily demo for the first time hearing aid wearers if required.
If you are concerned you may be suffering from Tinnitus, our online hearing test is a great place to start.
We will always recommend completing a full Audiology assessment to fully examine the ears & conduct a hearing assessment.