Tinnitus can affect anyone. It can be a temporary (acute) condition, or a long term (chronic) one. It’s unpleasant, but rarely a sign of anything serious. Most tinnitus symptoms are subjective, meaning that only the sufferer can hear them.
Tinnitus symptoms can be frustrating; they can interfere with sleep, your ability to hear and concentrate. Tonal sounds are almost constant and the volume can vary. Pulsatile sounds are often in-time with the heartbeat. On infrequent occasions, sounds can involve music or singing.
Here are just some sounds that sufferers of tinnitus describe:
The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) put together a list of the most commonly heard tinnitus sounds, which you can listen to here. This can help you to identify those sounds that most closely matches the symptoms you’re experiencing. Understanding this can help you more accurately explain your tinnitus to your hearing care professional, doctor, or loved ones.
If you’ve decided to speak to a hearing care professional about your tinnitus to explore how to relieve the symptoms, you’ll be asked questions such as:
These will be followed by a physical ear exam and hearing assessment. Pitch and loudness matching tests will assess the frequency and level of your symptoms. You may be asked to move your jaw, eyes, head or limbs too.
Treatments are available to relieve the symptoms. However the tinnitus itself may be caused by an underlying condition that requires treatment. This is why seeking professional advice is important.
Potential underlying causes include:
The following can increase your risk of developing tinnitus:
Left untreated, tinnitus can lead to depression and anxiety. This is avoidable; our hearing care professionals can advice on how to relieve your symptoms. Book in your appointment by clicking here, or call us on (864) 546-5708.