Tinnitus Awareness Week 2020

31st, January 2020

From the 3rd - 9th February, Tinnitus Awareness Week aims to raise awareness and to make Tinnitus reaseach a priority, with hopes of finding a cure. 

Currently 275,000 people have tinnitus in Northern Ireland, with around 7,000 severely affected.

Tinnitus is often described as ‘ringing in the ears’, but several types of sound can be heard including buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing, whistling and sizzling. Sometimes the noise associated with tinnitus can beat in time with the pulse. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus.

For many, tinnitus is a condition that they learn to live with but for others, it can have a significant impact on day-to-day life including concentration problems, sleep problems and depression.

Tinnitus can improve over time and although there is currently no single treatment that works in the same way for everyone, if an underlying cause can be established it can often be effectively treated.

What causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be caused by a build-up of earwax, a middle ear infection or a problem with your inner ear (such as Ménière's disease) can sometimes be responsible for the sounds associated with tinnitus. 

It is important that you establish what triggers your tinnitus, whether there are particular times of the day when it's more noticeable, and whether there's anything that makes it better or worse. 

Some people find their tinnitus is worse when they're stressed or anxious and improves when they're calm and relaxed. Learning this can in some cases help you to control it better. 

Occasionally, temporary tinnitus can be the result of a blow to the head or a sudden, loud noise, such as an explosion or gunfire.


Diagnosing Tinnitus

Kingsbridge Opticians & Hearing Care offer a speedy service to help improve the quality of hearing with audiology tests and access to the latest hearing aids on the market.

It is recommended that you contact the Kingsbridge Healthcare Group to book an appointment if you're continually hearing sounds such as buzzing, ringing or humming, or if you have regular episodes of hearing these sounds. 

Our ENT specialists will carry out tests to help rule out possible underlying causes. They'll also look at your medical history and ask about the type and severity of the noises you hear.

Treating Tinnitus

At the moment there's no single treatment for tinnitus that works in the same way for everyone. However, research to find an effective treatment is continuing and at the Kingsbridge Healthcare Group you can rest assured that you will have access to the latest treatments for the condition. 

If an underlying cause of your tinnitus can be found at your appointment, effectively treating it may help improve the condition. For example, if a build-up of earwax is responsible, eardrops or ear irrigation (using a pressurised flow of water to remove the earwax) may be recommended. 

If a specific cause can't be established, the focus will be on helping you manage the condition on a daily basis.

Coping with Tinnitus 

Tinnitus is most noticeable in quiet environments, background noise such as music or the television can help distract you from the sound of tinnitus. Low level amplification provided by specially programmed hearing aids has been shown to alleviate tinnitus for many sufferers. 

Listening to natural relaxing sounds, such as the sound of rain or the ocean, can also help. Environmental sound generators are small, electronic devices that produce these types of soothing sounds. 

Our specialists will be able to advice you of all available methods. 

To visit a GP at Kingsbridge Private Hospital, please call us on 028 9066 7878 or email us at info@kingsbridgehealthcaregroup.com

To book an appointment at Kingsbridge Opticians & Hearing Care please call us on 028 9066 7030

 

For more information on how you can get involved and help raise awareness for Tinnitus Research, you can visit the British Tinnitus Association


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