Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common problem

If you didn’t set your alarm clock but you still wake up hearing ringing you may have tinnitus.

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in your ears. It’s a common affliction. Don’t worry, it’s not serious. Tinnitus affects about 20 percent of people. The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside your head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating. Tinnitus in most cases requires “management” rather than treatment.

Causes of Tinnitus

A number of health conditions can cause or worsen tinnitus but, in many cases, the exact cause is hard to find. Common causes of tinnitus include;

  • Inner ear hair cell damage. If these hairs become bent or broken they send random electrical impulses to your brain.
  • Age-related hearing loss. For many people, hearing worsens with age, usually starting around the 50’s
  • Exposure to loud noise. This ranges from loud noises at work to portable music devices, such as MP3 players or iPods
  • Earwax blockage.
  • Ear bone changes. Stiffening of the bones in your middle ear may affect your hearing and cause tinnitus. This condition tends to run in families

Symptoms of Tinnitus

If you are suffering from tinnitus you may be experiencing these symptoms in your ears;

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring
  • Clicking
  • Hissing
  • Humming

Tinnitus caused by short-term noise exposure, such as attending a rock concert, usually goes away. However both short- and long-term exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent damage.

Hearing aids for tinnitus

According to a survey by the American Tinnitus Association, approximately 60% of tinnitus sufferers found some relief with hearing aids. Since most people with tinnitus also have hearing loss, many tinnitus sufferers are already using hearing aids. The benefits of hearing aids include;

  • Hearing aids allow wearers to hear sound they might be missing. This can be effective for ‘masking’ a lot of the tinnitus ringing. When you’re able to hear everything going on around you the tinnitus doesn’t sound so loud
  • Hearing aids also increase stimulation between the brain and the auditory pathways. This may help reduce tinnitus symptoms
  • Hearing aids also have volume controls which allow you to make external sounds louder than your tinnitus

Make sure you let our professional consultants at Clarisound know that you may be suffering from tinnitus. We will check if hearing aids could be an effective treatment for you.