Tinnitus is the condition of hearing abnormal noise in the ear or head when there is not sound coming from outside. How common is tinnitus? About 1 in 4 people are bothered by it, but it is a severe problem for 2% of the population.
How serious is tinnitus? Tinnitus in itself is not a serious condition; it doesn’t cause pain or deafness but can be frustrating.
What causes or aggravates it?
- Ear disorders such as infection, or the general wear and tear of the ear that comes with ageing
- Excessive noise exposure for a long time
- Some prescribed drugs
- Stress and fatigue
- Excessive alcohol, smoking and the use of social drugs (eg. Caffeine marijuana).
- Head injury
- Meniere’s syndrome (fluid in the inner ear)
What can be done for tinnitus?
- Tinnitus is less noticeable when there is background noise and therefore it is important to “switch off” from the ear ringing as much as possible and focus on other noises.
- Stress management and relaxation technique
- Background sound treatment: especially for those having trouble getting to sleep, it is helpful to have background music playing when retiring at night
- Tinnitus maskers
- Counselling and support