Almost one in every five Australians experience an enduring or recurring “ringing in their ears”, also known as tinnitus.
The tinnitus sound can range from a ringing or hissing, to a roaring or pulsing sound in one or both ears. It may be most obvious when in very quiet situations and may feel as if it’s coming from inside your head. It can be a single noise or a combination of sounds. The severity and regularity can also differs from individual.
Tinnitus is NOT a disease1 in itself. It is commonly a symptom of an auditory or sensory fault in the hearing system sometimes caused by a stressful event such as exposure to loud noise.
Almost anything that has the potential to affect a person’s hearing can also lead to the condition. Research has identified the following as potential causes of tinnitus2:
Extreme noise – the most common cause. Both long-term exposure and sudden loud noises can trigger a permanent hearing loss.
Hearing loss – having to strain to hear can raise tinnitus levels.
Some medications – tinnitus can be a side-effect of common medicines such as antibiotics and arthritis pills.
Stress & fatigue – high stress levels and a poor night’s sleep can combine to make tinnitus worse.
Caffeine – tea, coffee, colas and chocolate can all increase the severity of tinnitus, along with food and drinks containing quinine.
Smoking – can create tinnitus by restricting the blood flow through your ear canal and limiting the supply of oxygen.
Alcohol – red wine and champagne are particularly well known for setting off tinnitus.
Ear Disorders – certain ear conditions such as Menieres Syndrome can have tinnitus as one of its symptoms
Unfortunately, research has yet to discover a cure for Tinnitus. As there are varying causes but your local HEARINGLife clinician could provide you with guidance to help you manage your condition.
A clinical assessment is recommended for those who experience the symptoms of Tinnitus. This is because if hearing loss is found, hearing solution such as hearing aids could help improve your hearing health.
Alternatively if on ear condition is causing the tinnitus, your HEARINGLife Clinicians can refer you to an appropriate medical attention.