The impact of tinnitus
How angli-EAR Hearing can help you
At angli-EAR Hearing we are passionate about helping you with your tinnitus. We keep our knowledge current and up-to-date with the latest technology and treatment options that have been proved to work. We mention ‘evidence-based’ as this is very important and allows us to be on the forefront of tinnitus therapies. We take tinnitus seriously and therefore support the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) by being one of their corporate members.
Why do I have tinnitus?
There are multiple possible causes for tinnitus:
- loud noises
- constant exposure to noise
- head or ear injury
- medication side effect
- ear disease
- hearing loss
Why does it make that sound?
Tinnitus changes the communication signals going from the ear to the part of the brain where sound is processed (auditory cortex). This means that some parts of the brain do not receive signals in the way they should. The noise causes permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ in the inner ear.
Everyone hears something different
In the vast majority of cases, tinnitus is a sound you hear in your ears, that doesn’t exist outside your body. It could be:
- buzzing sound
This sound could be in one ear or both ears, it could be intermittent or constant, it could also pulsate or be variable in its sounds and or volume. In very rare cases others can hear it.
Finding a solution to your tinnitus
Finding the most suitable solution for your tinnitus is what we do. We are one of a very few clinics in the UK that is able to provide a thorough, full diagnostic assessment of your hearing.
We will assess the pitch (frequency) and loudness of your tinnitus and this, together with an understanding of any medical reason for it, which will allow us to tailor-make an evidence-based solution for you.
The sounds you can hear with tinnitus can be unique to you and as such, the way you react to or feel about, your tinnitus will also be unique.
Various treatment options – there IS hope
Information and education
Most people find that being given a detailed explanation of their tinnitus, together with being told “it will almost certainly improve”, hugely beneficial and reassuring. In the vast majority of cases tinnitus does spontaneously decrease over time.
Correcting even quite a mild hearing loss can be very helpful to your tinnitus, because it helps you to hear sounds that you would otherwise miss. This makes the tinnitus less audible and removes the strain from hearing. Improved hearing may also reverse tinnitus-related changes in your brain.
Sometimes fitting a combination device can help, which includes both a hearing aid and wearable sound generator as the cricket example above explains.
See below for some of the therapies that can be used to help you successfully manage your tinnitus.
Many people find one or a combination of the following therapies helpful
Addressing underlying worries and concerns and getting support with your tinnitus can be effective.
Many people find that their tinnitus is worse when they are stressed but better when they are relaxed.
This may be offered to help people with tinnitus to deal with their accompanying feelings of anxiety and depression.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) (habituation therapy)
TRT uses sound generators and counselling to retrain the brain in sound processing, so you no longer hear the tinnitus. It is based on the idea that we can filter out sounds such as a fridge or of an air conditioning unit, so we can also get used to this sound of tinnitus. This process is called habituation.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This form of therapy addresses negative thoughts you may have about your tinnitus. Through both counselling and developing coping strategies, it changes the unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
Some people with troublesome tinnitus have sleep difficulties and specific advice on what to do at home to help you sleep (sleep hygiene) will be beneficial.
Sound Enrichment Therapy
The use of sound, either from desk-top devices or wearable sound generators, can help to both reduce the starkness of the tinnitus and promote habituation.
It is possible that some people may benefit from medication such as anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants or sleeping tablets for other conditions they have in addition to their tinnitus. There is no specific medication for tinnitus.