Unless you’ve experienced it first hand, it can be difficult to express the impact tinnitus can have on your life. Tinnitus Awareness Week (5th-11th February) spreads awareness of the condition and how you can manage it to minimise the impact on your lifestyle.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus, which comes from the Latin word for ‘ringing’, is when you hear sounds without an external source. This can be ringing, buzzing or swooping noises (known as Subjective Tinnitus) or the amplified sound of bodily functions, like your heartbeat or breathing (referred to as Objective Tinnitus).
Tinnitus symptoms can appear more prevalent in quiet situations, such as when you want to relax or go to sleep, or after you have heard a sudden loud noise.
The best treatment for tinnitus is prevention. There isn’t always a direct cause for why tinnitus develops, but there are some things that can make it more likely. For example, frequent exposure to loud volume isn’t just problematic for your long-term hearing, but it can leave you with a temporary ringing in your ears too! All it takes is wearing protective ear buds when you know you’re going to be in a loud environment, and you can help reduce one of the main causes of tinnitus.
Ear infections are prone to leaving your ears susceptible to tinnitus. You can reduce your chances of infections by maintaining good hygiene: cleaning your hearing aids regularly and having your ear wax professionally removed will help.
It has also been discovered that high levels of anxiety or stress can increase your chances of tinnitus. Giving yourself time to relax and unwind is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, as well as your hearing. Whilst you’re taking the time to yourself, why not try some Sound Enrichment Therapy? This method to ease tinnitus symptoms is one of the most popular – it’s even a feature in many hearing aids, including the Starkey Halo 2 and Oticon Opn. Sound Enrichment Therapy involves the quiet repetition of sounds such as waves, wind and rain, which gently covers the effects of tinnitus.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often recommended for people suffering with tinnitus, with the aim of helping you manage the negative thoughts which can happen as a side effect of the condition. Hearing loss is isolating at the best of times, but the persistence of tinnitus can often leave people feeling at a loss. With CBT, you can learn how to live with tinnitus feeling confident and in control.
Talk to someone
A free tinnitus consultation at your local THCP practice can help take a weight off your shoulders. Whether it’s ear wax removal or a new pair of hearing aids, we can help you make the most of your hearing. Book an appointment online to start your journey to better hearing.