How to cope with…TINNITUS

How to cope with tinnitus

by take-a-break |
Published on

An audiologist answers common questions about this condition – and shares tips on managing it

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus describes the sensation of hearing sound without any external source. It can occur in one or both ears, and you can experience anything from a sound that is quite subtle to it completely taking over your waking hours. Commonly described as a ringing sound, tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones.

What causes it?

Even though the exact cause of tinnitus has not yet been discovered, external triggers like pre-existing ear infections, ear wax build-up, stress, and prolonged exposure to loud noise are all potential things that can lead you to develop tinnitus.

Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs or antidepressants can have tinnitus as a side effect too.

Will tinnitus result in hearing loss?

Tinnitus and hearing loss are separate conditions, but while they are often connected, they are not catalysts for one another, as tinnitus can occur in both people with normal hearing as well as those with hearing loss.

Is there a cure?

There is currently no definitive cure, but it can be managed by treating the underlying causes, like excessive wax build-up or an ear infection.

Hearing aids can help manage tinnitus, as can relaxation and meditation techniques.

Another way to reduce the effects of tinnitus is to minimise the time that you are exposed to loud noise. In places where you have control over your sound exposure, make sure the volume is at a safe level of 70dB or less. For those environments where sound exposure is out of your control, wear good-quality ear plugs or defenders to protect your ears.

• From Ashish Shah, Audiologist at The Hearing Care Partnership

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us