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What Is Tinnitus And How Is It Treated?


What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the name for hearing ringing or buzzing that comes from the inside of your ears, rather than from an outside source.
 Tinnitus can sound like:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Humming
  • Throbbing

You may hear these sounds in either or both ears, or in your head, they may come and go or can be heard all of the time. The main cause of tinnitus is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an injury to the ear, Ménière's disease, anxiety or depression. 

Risk Factors:

  • Loud Noise Exposure
    • Loud noises, such as festival and concert music, gardening and building equipment, and portable music devices are all common sources of noise-related hearing loss, which over time leads to damage to the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. Limiting your exposure to loud sounds, or wearing hearing protection, will help protect your hearing.
    • Alcohol and Tobacco usage
      • Smokers have a higher risk of developing tinnitus, as do people who consume alcohol.
    • Ear infections or Ear canal blockage
      • Your ear canals can become blocked with a build-up of fluid (an ear infection), earwax, dirt and other materials. A blockage within your ear can cause a change in the pressure in your ear, causing tinnitus. 


Prevention Methods:

  • Using Hearing Protection
    • As stated above, exposure to loud sounds can cause serious damage to your ears (Sounds above 85 Decibel's are harmful, with the average indoor venue it is likely to be between 95-110dB). Wearing hearing protection can help keeps your ears safe, earplugs won’t hamper your enjoyment of live music, as the right earplugs will reduce the noise and not muffle the sound.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol, caffeine & nicotine
    • These substances, especially when used in excess and for long periods of time, can affect your blood flow which can contribute towards tinnitus



  • There is currently no single treatment for tinnitus that will work for everyone, however, there are a handful of ways to help you cope and manage the problem:
    • If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying health condition, treating said condition will help reduce, and potentially stop, the sounds in your ear - if this is caused by a build-up of earwax you can use treatments such a eardrops, ear irrigation or micro-suction wax removal.
      • Sound Therapy
        • Tinnitus is often more noticeable in quiet environments, so to counter this the aim is to fill any silence with neutral sounds to distract yourself from the sounds of tinnitus


If you have concerns about your ears, hearing or would like to find out more about tinnitus, contact The Ear Place or pop in to your local practice.


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