Tinnitus can be maddening. Up to 10% of the population suffers from ringing in the ears or other obtrusive noises. In our Harrogate clinic we offer help, devices and management strategies to lessen the impact of tinnitus.
Tinnitus, the Latin for ringing, is not an illness or disease but a symptom. It’s when you hear noises which have no external source. You may hear whistling, hissing, buzzing, ringing or another noise. It can be quiet or loud, occurring all the time or just occasionally. It could be in one ear, both ears or simply 'in your head'.
Tinnitus occurs in all age groups, even young children. It can be caused by ear wax blockage, an infection or 'wear and tear' as you age. People exposed to loud noises are particularly vulnerable which is why ear protection is so important.
The first step is to pin down what sort of tinnitus you suffer from and why it might exist. We’ll look at other symptoms too such as hearing loss, experiencing pain hearing certain noises, and dizziness. We will measure your hearing thresholds outside the normal speech range. We will perform tests in our clinic to match the pitch – meaning how high or low the noise sounds. This helps to establish the location of your tinnitus.
We can’t magic tinnitus away. However, we find it can help clients if they know more about their tinnitus and the underlying mechanisms of the ear. We are here to answer any questions.
This varies depending on you and your circumstances. Options include:
It may be that there’s a device or hearing aid that can stop you straining to hear sound over your tinnitus. We can adjust them with ‘maskers’ to build in additional sound such as white noise. We can also recommend apps.
Stress is the best friend of tinnitus so needs to be addressed. We might prescribe a session with an acupuncturist or suggest self-care techniques.
There is an excellent website run by the British Tinnitus Association which features videos and audio guides about the condition.