What are the symptoms of tinnitus?

Tinnitus symptoms

Being able to recognise tinnitus symptoms is the first step on the road to getting help. There are many different forms of tinnitus that people experience, with some ranging greatly in severity.

Tinnitus symptoms

Being able to recognise tinnitus symptoms is the first step on the road to getting help. There are many different forms of tinnitus that people experience, with some ranging greatly in severity. 

Tinnitus affects you in different ways. You may only notice it when you go to bed at night after a loud concert, or you may find that the constant noise seriously affects your day-to-day quality of life. Whatever the severity, there is one thing in common: a high-pitched whistling, buzzing, ringing, humming or 'roaring ocean' sound in one or both ears.

Whether your tinnitus occurs daily or at specific times, it can have a noticeable effect on your concentration levels and ability to focus on other sounds or conversations around you. You may find that the condition worsens according to posture, often due to the pressure changes associated with moving your head or lying down. The noise can also seem more prominent when you're feeling tired, stressed or are in noticeably quiet surroundings.

Severe or long-standing tinnitus symptoms tend to align with one of the three categories outlined below:

Hyperacusis

If you are suffering from hyperacusis, you might find that you become more sensitive to everyday sounds. For instance, you might find the noise coming from a television or radio to be painfully loud despite it being set at a 'normal' volume. Hyperacusis is often the result of prolonged exposure to loud sounds, most prevalent amongst musicians and those who work regularly with industrial machinery.

Musical hallucinations

More common if you struggle with long-term tinnitus or extensive hearing loss. You may suffer musical hallucinations where you are plagued by snippets of songs instead of the traditional ringing. This form of the condition may be caused or exacerbated by stress, epilepsy and substance misuse.

Pulsatile tinnitus

Pulsatile tinnitus is different to regular tinnitus in that you may hear rhythmical noises that beat in time with your pulse. This condition is often attributed to blood flow changes in the vessels near the ear, or to a specific condition such as a perforated eardrum or atherosclerosis.

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Australians living with tinnitus

One in ten Aussies are coping with tinnitus, a condition which causes buzzing in the ears.

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