Updated: Nov 17, 2022
National Tinnitus Week 2021, February 1-7
I have personally suffered with this for many years, a result of time spent in ship’s engine rooms, without adequate ear protection.
Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is very common and is reported in all age groups, even young children. About 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives but the number of people who live with persistent tinnitus is approximately 13% (over 1 in 8).
Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — Whilst we do not know the exact answer to what causes tinnitus, we know that it is not a disease or an illness. It is generally agreed that tinnitus results from some type of change, either mental or physical, not necessarily related to hearing.
Although less common there can also be medical conditions that can cause tinnitus and some medications, so it is always recommended to check with your doctor first.
Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment.
Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.
Tinnitus can significantly affect quality of life. Although it affects people differently, if you have tinnitus, you may also experience:
· Sleep problems
· Trouble concentrating
· Memory problems
· Anxiety and irritability
Treating these linked conditions may not affect tinnitus directly, but it can help you feel better.
Talking therapy - This is one psychological approach that can be useful in managing tinnitus. The idea is that when you became aware of your tinnitus, you responded to it negatively.
A therapist or psychologist can help you learn coping techniques to make tinnitus symptoms less bothersome. Therapy can also help with other problems often linked to tinnitus, including anxiety and depression.
Are you suffering – not so silently?