What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, it can affect the hearing and those with hearing conditions or people who are completely deaf. It’s believed that 75% of people with hearing issues also suffer from tinnitus, it is more common in adults, and you are more likely to suffer from it the older you get.
It causes you to hear internal noises that are not caused by external sounds that other people are able to hear. This can last for minutes, hours or days and for some people it is constant, which can be very distressing, and it can have a negative effect on their lives.
There are two different types of tinnitus:
Subjective where only the patient can hear the sounds their tinnitus produces which is the most common form.
Objective tinnitus which can be heard by a doctor as it affects the blood flow in the vessels near the ear.
Whilst you can develop tinnitus for no apparent reason some common medical conditions can cause it or make it worse, these include:
· Ear infections
· Head or neck injuries
· Certain medications
· Wax build up
· Hearing loss
People can hear different types of sounds with tinnitus, and it can vary in both volume and pitch affecting either one or both ears. The most common noises are described as sounding like:
Some people report hearing sounds like singing or music and others hear noises that match their pulse, this is known as pulsatile tinnitus.
Suffering from tinnitus can result in people developing conditions such as:
· Concentration or memory problems
Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can all increase your chances of developing tinnitus as they can affect your blood flow if used in excess. Listening to loud noises, like live music or having the volume on high when using headphones over long periods should also be avoided. If your occupation means you are subjected to loud noises then you should always use suitable ear protection. Relaxation techniques can also prove helpful in managing your symptoms and there are plenty of self-help groups and information available on-line.
If you are struggling with hearing sounds or noises in your ears you should see your doctor so that they can rule out any underlying physical conditions. Whilst there is presently no cure for tinnitus, your doctor can help you to find an effective way of managing your symptoms. There are several different kinds of treatments you can try to help alleviate them; sound therapy helps to distract you by playing a constant neutral sound to help mask the sounds tinnitus causes. TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) both help you to retrain your brain by teaching it to respond differently to the way you think and feel about the noises your tinnitus produces, this then helps you to become less aware of them. Counselling can also help you to come to terms with your condition and the way it negatively affects your life, as well as teaching you coping mechanisms. Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free Information click above link.