Tinnitus Awareness Week 2019 begins on 6th Feb and is being promoted by the British Tinnitus Association.
Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the ear and or head which have no external source. Those living with the condition may experience a ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or other noise. The sensation can be continuous or intermittent and it can vary in volume.
It is not a disease or illness and is usually caused by an underlying condition. The noise may be in one or both ears, or it may feel like it is in the head. It may be low, medium or high pitched and can be heard as a single noise or as more than one part.
Occasionally people have tinnitus that can seem like a familiar song or tune. Some people have tinnitus which has a beat in time with their heartbeat.
The most common causes are: hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, stress and anxiety (possibly more noticeable if stressed or anxious), ear infections, ear wax build up, Meniere’s disease, glue ear, Otosclerosis, perforated ear drum.
Less common causes can include: thyroid disorders, diabetes, acoustic neuroma, changes in blood flow and head injury.
Treatments include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, sound therapy, correction of any hearing loss and relaxation techniques.
If you are concerned about possible tinnitus then please discuss your concerns with your GP and contact the organisations listed below for more information.
British Tinnitus Association – helpline 0800 018 0527 https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/Pages/FAQs/Category/what-is-tinnitus
The National Health Service advice line 111
Or website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tinnitus/
Written by Stephen Green