Qualified hearing aid audiologist Colin Campbell explains more in this short video:
Types of tinnitus
There are two main types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. But some people also experience a third type: pulsatile tinnitus.
The most common of the three, these sounds can only be heard by the person experiencing tinnitus. This can be caused by issues in your ear as well as problems with how your hearing nerve communicates with the brain.
Very rarely, people in close proximity to the sufferer can also hear their tinnitus sounds. This form is usually caused by something that produces sound, like a narrowing of blood vessels in the ear or muscle contractions.
Occasionally, people will hear tinnitus noises that beat in time with their pulse. This is usually linked to disturbances in the blood flow around your head or neck.
Tinnitus causesTinnitus causes
There are a variety of possible causes, including a build-up of earwax, perforated eardrum, an infection, or a side effect to certain medications. Exposure to loud sounds, like those listed below, can also trigger the condition:
- Rock concerts (120 dB)
- Ambulance siren (120 dB)
- Nightclubs (110dB)
- Loud machinery (115-120 dB)
- Personal music player/headphones (112 dB)
- Hand drill (98 dB)
- Heavy traffic (85 dB)
- Lawn mower (85 dB)
Our Audiologists will be able determine the underlying cause of your tinnitus and advise you on possible treatment depending on the results of your examination.
Tinnitus treatment and reliefTinnitus treatment and relief
Unfortunately, there’s no single treatment that’s right for everyone. Eliminating the cause could be the first step to tackling the problem, so it’s important to find out when and where it happens.
As tinnitus is usually a symptom of a medical condition, treating that condition, for example with antibiotics for an ear infection, or removing a build up of earwax should help to improve your tinnitus. But if it doesn’t go away after treatment, there are a number of options that may reduce, or if not help you to start living normally with tinnitus.
Sometimes, tinnitus can go away on its own – but unfortunately not all cases can be fully relieved. We’ll be able to help you cope with the effects of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and hearing lossTinnitus and hearing loss
Many people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing difficulties. In this instance, hearing aids can help, as amplified sounds will also keep the brain ‘busy’ so the tinnitus becomes less prominent.
For people without hearing loss, background noise such as music or television, can provide ‘exterior sounds’ that work in a similar way.
To understand more about hearing loss, see our information on how the ear works
If the symptoms persist or you are concerned about your tinnitus, you should contact your GP who may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. They’ll be able to suggest ways of dealing with the problem. If a specific cause can’t be established, the focus will be on helping you manage the condition on a daily basis.