Tinnitus can be described as a persistent ear noise when no external noise is present. An estimated 20% of the population is thought to experience tinnitus at some point in their lives. In fact, research has shown that temporary tinnitus can develop in anyone in an abnormally quiet environment. While some people describe it as an unpleasant ringing in the ears, others describe it as hissing, roaring or buzzing.
The condition can occur at any age and is not a disease but, rather, a symptom arising from many possible causes, most usually after exposure to excessive noise levels and/or noise-induced hearing loss.
Tinnitus varies from person to person, being bothersome to some and just a mild nuisance to others. It can be affected by ongoing noise exposure, as well as stress and the general health of the individual. Many people will spontaneously habituate to their tinnitus over time but, for those who find it distressing, a therapeutic approach to tinnitus management, aiming for a reduced awareness and disturbance, is recommended. This may include amplification (if a hearing loss is present), sound therapy and counselling.
Victorian Hearing provides an individualised Tinnitus Management Program that involves an initial two hour comprehensive evaluation of your hearing and tinnitus, detailed information about your tinnitus and explanations of your hearing loss and the neurophysiological basis of tinnitus-related distress. Treatment options will be discussed, if appropriate, and strategies devised to help you manage the tinnitus.