Tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom. Tinnitus can be described as hearing sounds/ringing in the ears that cannot be perceived by the environment. Tinnitus can occur at any age and it’s very common with hearing impairment. Although these sounds can be perceived as very bothersome it’s usually not a sign of anything serious. Around 15% of people experience some form of tinnitus. There is two types of tinnitus, subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus. Most people have subjective tinnitus meaning the sound is only perceived by the person. Objective tinnitus is uncommon and it’s caused from noise generated by structures near the ear and can be heard by the examiner.
People with tinnitus describe the sounds in different ways such as whining, humming, ringing and clicking. Most people with tinnitus experience a high frequency tone but the sounds may vary in pitch, you may hear the sound in one or both ears. Most people find that the sound varies from day to day. Tinnitus may come and go sometimes the sound is only heard in quieter environment, in some cases the sound can be loud and therefore disturb concentration and sleep.
The most common reason for seeking help is noise stress in working environment, exposure to loud noise, earwax blockage and age related hearing loss. There are also other causes of tinnitus such as chronic health conditions and other injuries and conditions that affect the nerves in the ear or hearing center in the brain. Certain medications, neck, jaw and shoulder disorders can cause tinnitus. Even anemia, depression and anxiety can cause tinnitus. In fact tinnitus is frequently associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia and anger.
There’s no scientifically proven cure for Tinnitus instead there is treatment available to relieve the problem. Most people get better after treatment or by themself after some time. If there are underlying causes treatment may lead to improvement otherwise talk therapy, sound therapy or hearing aids are optional treatments. There are many things you can do yourself, such as exercise, as it can prevent stress and depression. Try to manage your stress level and make sure to recover and relax between stressful days. Reduce exposure to things that makes your tinnitus worse such as nicotine, caffeine and loud noises. If you have trouble sleeping turn the radio on or any other background noise on as it may be helpful. If you do seek help the treatments vary between different countries.