Tinnitus, the facts!

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Tinnitus Care

What is tinnitus?

The most widely referred to definition of tinnitus is: “the perception of sound in the ears and/or head with no external sound source.” It is most commonly described as a ringing, whistling, hissing or whooshing sound and can be constant or intermittent with it more noticeable at certain times of the day. 

1 in 7 adults in the UK are living with tinnitus and for 1 in 6 of those individuals, it severely diminishes their quality of life.

Tinnitus is a very individual condition from the way it sounds to how often it is heard. For some it can go relatively unnoticed, and for those individuals they find they are able to continue with their normal life. However, for others, it can be completely debilitating.

The impact of tinnitus

Whilst tinnitus cannot be seen, it can have a massive impact on those struggling with it. A survey conducted by Tinnitus UK, and their helpline services in December 2023 reported the following findings:

  • More than 8 out of 10 reported low mood or anxiety.
  • 7 out of 10 feeling hopeless or helpless.
  • 85.7% reported sleep disturbances.
  • 68.4% reported low self esteem and 54.9% struggling to think rationally.

In addition, social isolation is common in those struggling with tinnitus, with individuals reporting how it was impacting their relationships and daily life. Two-Thirds of those surveyed found they tend to avoid contact with friends and face difficulties at work. 

What triggers tinnitus?

The cause of tinnitus is still unknown, however individuals exposed to loud noise and those with certain neurological illnesses are more susceptible. Also, we know that there are certain factors that can trigger the onset of tinnitus:

Hearing loss

Tinnitus is common in those with hearing loss. Often, when hearing loss is treated with a hearing aid or device, tinnitus becomes less noticeable

Stress and anxiety

Stressful or anxiety inducing events can make tinnitus more noticeable. For instance, the loss of a loved one or severe stress in the workplace

Injuries, illnesses or infections

Head and neck injures such as whiplash can cause the onset of tinnitus. Many auditory factors such as ear infection or even a build up of ear wax can also trigger tinnitus.

Certain medications

Certain medications can cause tinnitus. It may be the case that when the course of medication is finished, the tinnitus stops. 

Although anyone can get tinnitus, it is important to look after our ears and take steps to prevent it. This is particularly relevant in current times where we are surrounded by high levels of noise. Try to always wear ear protection when exposed to loud noise such as music concerts. In addition, remember the 60/60 rule when wearing headphones: never have the volume above 60% and take a break every 60 minutes. 

Help for tinnitus

Whilst tinnitus cannot be cured, there a range of techniques and resources which may help individuals manage tinnitus.

  • Talking Therapies such as CBT
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation
  • Hearing Aids and Devices 
  • Sound Therapy
  • Support Groups 

Tinnitus UK Tinnitus UK Charity provides a telephone chat service should you wish to talk to somebody. The website also has some useful links to community support groups and details of useful resources if you are looking for further support or advice. 

tinnitus.org.uk

How we can help

Our Tinnitus Specialist, Jessica, offers a range of therapies and management tools in helping people to deal with bothersome tinnitus. Jessica is also a certified hypnotherapist and psychotherapist (HPD, DSFH, AfSFH). She supports people who are anxious, stressed and overwhelmed, with a variety of symptoms, on a daily basis.

“I specialise in supporting people dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety due to bothersome tinnitus. I am passionate about helping you move forward so that tinnitus no longer controls your life.”

Jessica will work with the individual to gain a detailed understanding of how tinnitus is impacting their life. From there a personalised care plan can be developed. This includes the option of a Tinnitus Rehabilitation Plan based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
If you would like to find out more about how Jessica can support you, call our friendly reception team on 01564 791088.

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