What exactly is tinnitus?
What are the symptoms?
Tinnitus is almost always compared to a ringing in the ears, when nobody else nearby can hear it. But tinnitus can also cause other types of noises in your ears.
The actual noises of tinnitus can vary too, sometimes the pitch can be a low roar or a whooshing sound, other times it can be a high-pitched hiss or squeal.
The sounds can begin to interfere with sleep patterns at night and also lower concentration levels during the daytime, so you can imagine how it would affect quality of life. Your posture can also contribute to how severe the symptoms are, for example, how you hold your head can make a difference as to how severe (or loud) the tinnitus is. Stress and anxiety can also aggravate things and cause the symptoms to worsen.
What are the causes?
Other causes of tinnitus
Otosclerosis can occur (and can run in the family). This is when a very small bone inside your ear (called the stapes) fuses with other parts of the ear. This may affect your hearing and cause tinnitus.
Acoustic neuroma is a benign brain tumour, also known as a vestibular schwannomaor. This, and other head and neck tumors can cause tinnitus.
Tinnitus can sometimes be an early sign of Meniere's disease, which is a rare disorder affecting the inner ear. It can also cause hearing loss and vertigo.
The tube inside your ear which connects the middle ear to your upper throat can sometimes remain expanded. This is known as Eustachian tube dysfunction. It can cause tinnitus and makes your ear feel "full".
Also, muscles inside the inner ear can sometimes spasm and result in tinnitus.
Some other chronic conditions such as diabetes, migraines, thyroid problems and anemia have been associated with tinnitus.
Don't suffer alone
Don't suffer alone
How to manage tinnitus
Have your hearing checked
Use hearing aids
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Sound Enrichment Therapy
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
What happens during a tinnitus consultation at Barracloughs?
Our qualified audiologists from The Hearing Care Partnership will carry out a full hearing assessment to gain a better understanding of your hearing and to determine any hearing loss which might be caused by your tinnitus. This consultation is free of charge.
Medical history will be covered to see if there is anything that may have triggered or aggravated the tinnitus.
The health of the ears is checked to rule out whether or not wax or infections are the cause of the tinnitus. A middle ear pressure check takes place followed by a thorough hearing test to determine if there is any underlying hearing loss.
How much does it cost?
Frequently asked questions...
However, if your tinnitus cause is unknown, while not technically treatable, as mentioned above, there are various therapies available to help you manage the condition, including using hearing aids if you have a hearing loss, Sound Enrichment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.