Tinnitus

Older M-F couple

 

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus an abnormal perception sound in the ear in the absence of external sound. It is commonly described as a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or sounding like "crickets". Although there is no cure for Tinnitus, it can be successfully managed with various strategies.  Tinnitus is actually quick common.15-20% of the general population experience tinnitus and this increases to 30% in patients over 55.What 

Why is taking a history important?

Usually bilateral, symmetrical Tinnitus is not concerning and may well be due to age-related hearing loss. However, with one-sided tinnitus, other pathologies must be excluded. Pulsations can be due to abnormal circulation.

 

Therefore a history should be used to identify if Tinnitus has any concerning features or other associated hearing loss or ear symptoms. By doing so, any further investigations or an ENT specialist review can be recommended. 

What are the investigations?

If your doctor or ENT surgeon has any concerns, they may investigate for the following.

   - blood workup for metabolic causes

   - MRI to visualise the inner ear and hearing nerve

   - Doppler ultrasound of the neck

 

What problems can be associated with Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can cause a variety of difficulties such as sleeping difficulties, poor concentration, sensitivity to loud noise, fatigue and stress, depression, anxiety, stress, poor concentration and trouble relaxing and concentrating.

Can Tinnitus be cured?

While there's no cure for general Tinnitus, this condition can be managed very well with appropriate advice and guidance. It can be managed so well that patients may not hear Tinnitus for long periods.

Avoidance of precipitants

stimulants → caffeine, smoking and alcohol

loud noise → occupational and recreational

certain drugs → aspirin and NSAIDs

Medications

Doctors may treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression

combination of medication and counselling​

What can we do for you?

Masking and hearing aids

  -White noise → from a radio or a home masking machine

  -Hearing Aids –if you have an aidable hearing loss wearing a hearing aid/s amplify ambient noise which masks Tinnitus.  It also stops you straining to listen which can also improve tinnitus.

  -Tinnitus Maskers – deliver narrow-band noise, centred around the pitch of Tinnitus, at low intensity.

Tinnitus retraining therapy 

   The technique of habituation using a combination of masking with low-level broadband noise and        ..counselling to achieve habituation of the reaction to Tinnitus and the perception of the tinnitus signal    ..itself

Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment

This may also be appropriate cause of treatment.  The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment was developed at Curtain University in Western Australia.  It uses a customised devise based on the patients extended audiogram to develop an individual tinnitus treatment prescription.  This is designed to provide a pleasant acoustic signal embedded in music.  This is designed to stimulate a wide range of the auditory pathway and to engage the limbic (emotional) system & autonomic nervous system of the brain.  The device is worn daily for at least 2-3 hours and over a period of approximately 26 weeks it decreases the disturbance caused by the tinnitus.

Further Information for you

This link will give you access to apps and other tools that you may like use.