The Reality of Tinnitus is Unpleasant
Tinnitus is a common problem that affects millions of Australians. Around 2 out of 3 Australians report having experienced some form of tinnitus at some point. It is a persistent noise in the ear that can be intermittent or constant and varies in intensity from one person to another.
The ringing sensation has been known to affect the quality of life of those who have it. It may cause difficulties hearing other people speak and even make it difficult to sleep at night because you are constantly aware of the noise.
For many people, tinnitus can further exacerbate an already stressful lifestyle.
The Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the term for hearing noises in your ears when there is no external sound. It can be caused by many things such as age, medications or ear infections.
Tinnitus is the term for hearing noises in your ears when there is no external sound.
The causes of tinnitus are not fully understood, but it is believed to be a symptom of an underlying problem.
Tinnitus is often caused by damage to the inner ear or noise exposure and can also be caused by an infection in the middle ear, high blood pressure, a tumour on the auditory nerve, head injury and aging.
10 things that can make tinnitus worse:
- Exposure to loud noises such as machinery or industrial noises
- Exposure to loud music
- Inner ear problems
- Aging & gradual hearing loss
- Some medications such as aspirin
- Certain medical conditions (eg. High blood pressure and vascular problems)
- Diet factors (eg. high salt intake, alcohol consumption, dehydration)
- Stress and anxiety (eg. traumatic event such as the death of a loved one)
- Excessive strain on the jaw joint
- Blocked ears with ear wax
Can food trigger tinnitus?
Certain food can cause an increase in the sensation of tinnitus. Generally speaking, managing hydration levels in our inner ear can help lessen the effects of noises in our ears. Watching our salt and sugar intake can help. Alcohol can often make pre-existing tinnitus louder. Certain medications can also make tinnitus worse, so it is worth chatting to your doctor if this becomes a problem.
Are some people born with tinnitus?
Some people are born with tinnitus. Often those who have tinnitus from a young age are unaware of their condition, given that this is what they know of their “normal” environment.
There does appear to be a genetic link to tinnitus. Noises in the ears may have a hereditary component.
Of course, when you acquire tinnitus later in life, you may find it extremely stressful not knowing exactly what is wrong to have caused the noises in your ears. We find this can lead to a cycle of stress triggers which can make the tinnitus sound worse.
Are some people born with tinnitus?
- Earwax Suction – Keeping your ears clear of wax and debris through earwax removal by an Audiologist can help.
- Treating any temporomandibular disorder (TMJ) of the jaw
- Changing medications
- Changing the diet to monitor salt and hydration levels, cutting back on alcohol
- Wearing hearing protection
- Correcting for underlying hearing loss with hearing aids
- Sound habituation therapy for those with normal hearing and tinnitus
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
- Stress management & relaxation techniques
Hearing Loss & Tinnitus
Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand in hand. When your inner ear is damaged, the system may produce sensations of sounds in your ear that is not actually there.
During a tinnitus assessment appointment, if we find an underlying hearing loss that is permanent, we correct the hearing loss through hearing aids.
Hearing aids for tinnitus therapy is a long-term solution and is very effective in breaking the stress trigger cycle associated with tinnitus. It gives the person some tinnitus relief during the day when they are wearing the hearing aids.
What do we offer?
Ability Hearing and Balance is an independent, Tasmanian-owned hearing clinic located across Tasmania. Our qualified audiologists have over 20 years of experience in managing hearing loss and assessing tinnitus patients. At your initial tinnitus assessment appointment, we take a detailed case history to try to identify the severity of your tinnitus and its impact on your life. We also perform a full hearing test including earwax removal to rule out underlying cases which may cause temporary tinnitus. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all solution for tinnitus. The treatment options vary depending on the individual and may also include psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to deal with any stress triggers. The best course of action is to consult with our audiologists to find a tinnitus treatment plan tailored to your situation. Contact us on 1300 EAR PRO (1300 327 776) to book an appointment. We offer Pension discounts and Concessions. Health fund rebates may apply.