Tinnitus is a common condition when patients hear noises in their ears or their heads

What is Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common condition when patients hear noises in their ears or their heads

Facts about Tinnitus

  • It is estimated that approximately 30% – 40% of the population will suffer from tinnitus at some point in their life and it is more commonly associated with hearing loss
  • The noise is usually high pitched and ringing in nature but may vary in pitch from low to high frequency
  • The intensity of the noises can alter with exercise, the drinking of coffee or wine and other factors
  • Stress can make it worse
  • Tumours may cause tinnitus
  • The noise may be continuous of intermittent
  • Hearing words, songs or voices is not tinnitus
  • Sometimes it my coincide with heart beat/pulse
  • Children can suffer from tinnitus
  • Tinnitus sufferers may be apprehensive of serious causes such as a brain tumour

Investigations

  • All patients with tinnitus affecting only one ear require investigation by an ENT surgeon. Investigations usually include hearing tests and scans
  • Not all who have tinnitus in both ears will need every investigation
  • Usually no definite cause for the tinnitus is found. Rarely a more serious condition will be found, such as a tumour of the auditory nerve (acoustic neuroma)

Treatment

In most cases no single treatment is totally satisfactory. The following are some of the commonly used options:

  • Masking the tinnitus with background noise e.g. devices such as a transistor radio placed under the pillow
  • Counselling, cognitive therapy, hypnotherapy can all play an important role
  • Specific treatment depends on the cause if found
  • Devices such as hearing aids and tinnitus maskers are often helpful
  • Majority of patients adapt to tinnitus well over a period of time
  • In some cases the tinnitus resolves spontaneously
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Tinnitus contact

Tinnitus page contact

PRACTICE MANAGER: Chelsea Fulton 07534 771264 MEDICAL SECRETARY: Karen Harris 07453 881588
CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS: Enso House Crayfields Business Park, 3 New Mill Road, Orpington BR5 3TW | Tel: 01689 490119 | Fax: 01689 873221