Tinnitus is the perception of sounds or noise within the ears with no external sound source. These sounds are often described as ringing, humming or buzzing noises and they can be constant or periodic.
What you should know about tinnitus
Do you or someone you know suffer from constant “ringing in the ears”? Maybe it s not ringing exactly. Some people describe it as hissing. buzzing. whistling, roaring and even chirping. Whatever noise it is, the real issue is something called tinnitus. Tinnitus ( ’TIN-a tus” or “Tin—EYE-tUS”| is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears or head when no external sound is present. The important thing to know is that tinnitus is not a condition or a disease. Instead, it is a symptom — typically of something bigger, like an ear infection, high blood pressure or most commonly, hearing loss.
What can cause tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be triggered by a variety of causes, but is commonly linked to exposure to loud sounds, which can damage the delicate sensory cells of the inner ear. This condition has also been associated with ear infections, ageing, stress, excessive earwax, high blood pressure, and sensory nerve disorders. Activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and taking excessive amounts of aspirin or antibiotics may exacerbate tinnitus.
How can I manage tinnitus?
If you suspect that you may be one of the many faces of tinnitus, your first step is to undergo a professional evaluation. Counselling with an experienced hearing health care professional trained in managing tinnitus improves your chances of success in regaining your quality of life. The effects of tinnitus can often be minimised by a combination of counselling and sound stimulation.