What is Tinnitus?
Monday, 15 January 2018
That ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping or whistling sound in the ears has a name - it is called tinnitus and it is much more common than you may have thought. Here at HealthAndCare.co.uk we've put together a short article that can hopefully answer all your questions in a clear and comprehensive way, while help you decide what to do next if you believe you are currently suffering from tinnitus.
What Is Tinnitus?
First of all, what exactly is tinnitus? Simply put, it is the awareness of sound in the ears or in the head which is not caused by an external source. It can manifest itself as ringing, white noise, buzzing, hissing, chirping or a combination of several sounds, either in one or both ears.
Tinnitus is not a disease itself or a cause of hearing loss, but a symptom that something else is wrong somewhere in the auditory system. In its mildest form, tinnitus is very common, while approximately 10% of the adult population in the United Kingdom experience a persistent form of this condition.
How Common Is Tinnitus and What Causes It?
Though tinnitus can occur at any age without a known cause, the condition is most often associated with an underlying hearing loss. Of the 10% who live with the condition, about half find it moderately or severely distressing, with about 0.5% of adults (242,000 people) in the UK having difficulties leading a normal life due to tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, particularly in older people, but there are many other factors that can contribute to the condition. Some of the most common causes include:
These are some of the most common causes, but tinnitus can also be a result of ear infections, head injury, a side-effect of medication or a result of some other health issues, such as high blood pressure. Last but not least, tinnitus can be worsened by increased levels of emotional stress.
How to Stop Tinnitus
While 10% of people suffer from persistent tinnitus, approximately 30% experience it at least at some point in their lives. This tells us that most find that their condition does settle down after the initial period, without having to do anything at all about it.
If, however, your symptoms of tinnitus seem to persist and affect your daily life, you might want to take action. Below is a list of suggestions that may help you to reduce or stop tinnitus.