Tinnitus Awareness Week 2018
February 5th – 11th
Tinnitus is a common symptom of many hearing and ear conditions. Tinnitus is the term for hearing sounds or noises that occur inside your body or head rather than from an outside source.
It is estimated 1 in 10 people live with tinnitus and it can result in considerable distress and anxiety. There are however positive steps that can be taken to reduce its impact on daily life. The first important step is to understand tinnitus and it’s causes.
The next step is to have a hearing assessment as tinnitus is accompanied by some degree of hearing loss in up to 80% of cases . The use of hearing devices certainly seems to help many people manage the symptoms better. Hearing aids enhance the sounds you want to hear, such as speech, and lessen the effect of the tinnitus sounds.
Most modern aids also have specific tinnitus programmes which may be of help.
Tinnitus is very closely linked to emotional stress, it is often reported that when stress levels are high, tinnitus seems to be exacerbated. The difficultly is that often the tinnitus itself is causing the heightened stress levels, making it very difficult to cope with. Counselling can really help when tinnitus is significantly impacting your mental health and happiness. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is fast becoming a popular and effective treatment for certain types of tinnitus.
There are many causes of tinnitus. The most common is damage to the inner ear – the cochlea. If there is damage somewhere in the auditory system the brain can try to fill the space with ‘noise’. Damage to the inner ear can occur from exposure to noise, such as going to a very loud music event or gun fire. Sometimes certain prescription drugs cause tinnitus as a side effect. If your outer ear is blocked with wax, this can sometimes make you very aware of tinnitus, as you are no longer hearing everyday environmental noises. Changes in blood flow such as high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and as a result the tinnitus can sometimes be an ‘early warning sign’ of more serious conditions.
Tinnitus is a complex issue and there is no miracle cure for the symptoms. The best approach is to offer a personalised support programme. Aston Hearing is a safe place to talk and share frustrations. We provide qualified information to help understand the condition and offer practical advice and solutions to help you take control.
A problem shared and better understood often goes a long way to help. Aston Hearing in Amersham and Thame offer monthly coffee morning drop-in sessions, which are free of charge and open to everyone. The sessions work well as often simply sharing experiences and recognising you are not the only person that has the difficulty can help you cope much better in day to day life.