Ringing in the ears

Up to 80% of the population experience Tinnitus

Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus is a common symptom that is experienced by up to 80% of the population.

At some stage in our lives, we are likely to experience ringing in our ears when there is no apparent source of the sound. While for some of us this can be temporary because of a sudden extreme noise or when coming home from a loud concert, but for others, this buzzing or ringing in the ears can be persistent. This is when it becomes tinnitus. It is not a disease itself rather a reflection of something else going on in the hearing system or brain.

Tinnitus is commonly associated with hearing loss, so a full tinnitus assessment will include a comprehensive medical and audiology case history, as well as a full diagnostic hearing test, and a subjective review of the tinnitus itself.

Depending on the outcome of your assessment your audiologist may recommend you visit an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist to determine if there is any underlying ontological pathology that requires medical treatment.

Tinnitus Treatments

The long-term management of tinnitus has improved greatly for those that experience what can be a distressing symptom.

Most cases of tinnitus should be evaluated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician ensure that the tinnitus is not caused by another treatable problem. While there is no current cure, there are several treatments to help tinnitus sufferers manage the condition.

If hearing loss is present, a hearing aid may reduce the problem. Some wearers report that hearing aids have completely alleviated their condition.

Another option which has been in focus in recent years to manage the conditions is the need to understand the importance of the brain and the sub-conscious pathways in maintaining and emphasising the tinnitus signal.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is considered one of the most successful approaches to tinnitus management. It is based on neurophysiology and the theory that tinnitus is experienced by the whole population, but most people do not hear it as it’s not important for the brain to monitor the sound. This theory is based on the fact that the brain can suppress familiar but unimportant noises (e.g. the motor of your fridge) but emphasise sounds that mean danger or that are important. The goal of this treatment is to retrain the brain to suppress the tinnitus in the same way as these familiar but unimportant sounds are suppressed. TRT can involve education and counselling, sound therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Contact Us – tell us how we can help

The Hearing Clinic is here to guide you in the management of your tinnitus. To book your clinical assessment call 1300 456 001 or complete the contact form.