What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the medical term for a noise which is heard in the head or ears, that does not come from an outside source.

It’s often described as a ‘ringing in the ears’, but it can be experienced in other ways, like a buzzing or hissing sound, waves or even cicadas.

The sounds caused by tinnitus can be faint or loud, occasional or constant, steady or pulsing, and range from not bothersome to very annoying. It’s often more noticeable at night or when it’s quiet, and can be more of a problem when you are tired or stressed.

How Common Is Tinnitus?

Don’t feel like you’re alone. Tinnitus is very common. About 20% of us have it to some extent.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be caused by:

  • Exposure to excessive loud noise
  • Extreme stress or trauma
  • Hearing loss
  • Some prescription, and non-prescription medication

Hearing Aids & Tinnitus

Hearing aids can help your tinnitus as they assist in overcoming any underlying hearing loss. By reducing the amount of attention your brain is paying to the tinnitus, in most cases hearing aids can give you some relief.

Steps to Manage Your Tinnitus

Step 1: Seek Help

Make an appointment. National Hearing Care offers a free test to determine if you have hearing loss. If you do, you will undergo a full diagnostic consultation with an audiologist or audiometrist to find the right solution for you. 

Step 2: Reduce Exposure to Loud Noise 

Protect your ears with earplugs, or ear muffs. High-risk groups include industrial workers, farmers and war veterans.

Step 3: Hearing Aids 

Hearing Aids may assist with tinnitus by helping to overcome any underlying hearing loss.

Step 4: Relaxation & Meditation

If you relax more you stress less. The intention is to teach yourself to take the focus away from the tinnitus and to centre on what you enjoy.

Step 5: Diet

Ease up on caffeine, quinine and alcohol as they can temporarily increase tinnitus for some people.

Step 6: Exercise

Regular exercise helps the body achieve a higher level of well-being and in most cases helps people to ignore and better cope with their tinnitus. 

Step 7: Quit Smoking

Smoking narrows the blood vessels that supply vital oxygen to your ears and the sensory cells.