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Noise in your ear? Not sure where it’s coming from? Sounds like you’ve got tinnitus.

Tinnitus manifests itself as buzzing, hissing, pulsating or ringing in the ear. However, with tinnitus, there appears to be no external source to the noise, and it can have a serious impact on your daily life.

Boots Hearingcare looks at some of the key information surrounding tinnitus, particularly how to minimise the distress it can cause…

Tinnitus causes

Despite being a common hearing health condition, there’s still much we don't know about tinnitus – including exactly what causes it. However, there are a few common contributing factors, such as: Temporary exposure to loud noises may bring on tinnitus symptoms, but these should subside in a few days. If severe symptoms persist after this time, contact your GP or a hearing healthcare professional.

Tinnitus symptoms

Tinnitus has one basic symptom: hearing sound that’s not associated with any external cause. This can be anything, from waves crashing to full-on roaring. It’s also good to remember that the volume level of the phantom noises may vary or stay constant, and the noises themselves may come and go completely.

Other, more secondary symptoms of tinnitus include:
  • Hearing not as good as before
  • Sensitivity to everyday sounds (hyperacusis)
If you have persistent tinnitus, it’s only in one ear, or if your tinnitus is accompanied by dizziness and/or balance issues, talk with your doctor asap.

Tinnitus treatment

Treatment for tinnitus varies. If due to an underlying cause, treating or eliminating the cause can sometimes make the tinnitus go away. Most of the time, though, treatment will focus almost exclusively on symptom relief.

Possible tinnitus treatments include: Your GP will be able to advise on the best methods of treatment for your tinnitus.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a cure for tinnitus?
There is currently no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus. There are, however, a variety of treatments, devices and techniques that you can use to ease tinnitus symptoms. Of course, always consult your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
Can tinnitus go away?
If the tinnitus is caused by blockage, it can be easily taken away with a visit to the doctor. However, on most occasions, that ringing in your ears will stick around, so finding ways to relieve the symptoms is also important. Don’t worry, your GP will be able to advise the best course of action for you.
Can ear wax cause tinnitus?
It is possible that ear wax can lead to tinnitus – if it blocks your ear canal, ringing in the ear can be a side effect. The good news, though, is that the problem is easily fixable by visiting your GP and getting them to remove the buildup.
Can stress cause tinnitus?
Tinnitus is very often a symptom of hearing loss or other medical issue. Although stress can be a constant companion to tinnitus sufferers, especially when the ringing in the ear gets unbearable. For advice on managing stress when you have tinnitus, speak to a doctor or hearing specialist such as one of the audiologists here at Boots Hearingcare.
Is tinnitus a disability?
Yes. Tinnitus can be a long-term, debilitating condition even with treatment. It may take some effort to get past the effects of tinnitus. Keep in mind, though, that the type of tinnitus you have will play a role in any disability benefit process.
On a brighter side, tinnitus can be lived with as it may occur only occasionally and quietly. However, you should definitely see an audiologist for advice on the best treatment for your symptoms.

Do you have tinnitus symptoms? Schedule an appointment with Boots Hearingcare to discuss your condition…