Tinnitus

We understand tinnitus and are here to provide support and guidance.

What is tinnitus?

If you’re experiencing ringing or unusual sensations in your ears, it may be tinnitus.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when there is not external sound present, often described as a ringing, buzzing, humming, clicking or cicada-like sound. Less commonly, tinnitus can be heard as a musical tune or it may be perceived as a pulsing sound in time with your heartbeat.

Tinnitus may be one or multiple sounds and it may be constant or intermittent. It can be heard as coming from one or both ears or from within your head.

Research shows that most people hear tinnitus when they are asked to listen in a very quiet environment (i.e. when sitting in a soundproof booth). Tinnitus is common and it’s reported in all age groups.

What causes tinnitus?

Each person’s experience of tinnitus is different and there can be many causes.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of tinnitus, but it’s generally understood that it results from some type of change, either mental or physical, but not necessarily related to the ear.

Tinnitus can be associated with noise exposure, a hearing loss, middle ear pathology or dysfunction, impacted wax, head or neck injuries, some medications, or a period of high stress. In many instances the cause or the trigger is unknown.

Tinnitus may dissipate over time or you may get used to it, so even though it may still be audible it is of little consequence. In some people, the tinnitus becomes intrusively bothersome and it can impact significantly on your general well-being.

When should you seek assistance?

It’s a good idea to seek assistance, if the tinnitus:

  • Is associated with hearing difficulties.
  • Presents or changes suddenly.
  • Becomes intrusive and bothersome.
  • Interferes with sleep and/or your ability to concentrate.
  • Impacts on general well-being.
  • Is in one ear only.

Consultation with a general practitioner is recommended, so that any underlying medical factors, which may be contributing to the tinnitus, are addressed.

Those who have a better understanding of the mechanisms of the tinnitus are more likely to adapt to it.

Some people require more involved intervention and individuals with distressing tinnitus often benefit from a multidisciplinary approach (in addition to the general practitioner, ear nose and throat specialists, and the audiologist/tinnitus specialist, clinicians who may be involved in the rehabilitation process include physiotherapists, counselors, sleep specialists, TMJ dental specialists).

Factors influencing your ability to get used to the tinnitus include:

  • Current stress levels and coping abilities.
  • Emotional and physical support systems.
  • Insight into the mechanisms of the tinnitus.

Plus, understanding how all of the above interact.

Get support for tinnitus

If you’re experiencing tinnitus symptoms and would like to find out more about the support available, please contact us. Ask us about access to funding for pensioners and veterans, plus health rebates.

Request tinnitus assessment

Support for tinnitus

Bev and Tennille at Perth Hearing & Tinnitus Clinic are tinnitus specialists who offer a holistic, evidence-based tinnitus program. How you experience tinnitus and how it impacts on your life is unique and therefore each tinnitus program is designed specifically for your personal situation.

What’s included in the program?

The tinnitus support program provides you with a deeper understanding of tinnitus and strategies you can use to manage and reduce the symptoms.

To begin, a full case history will be taken, including how the tinnitus impacts on your daily life and any associated issues. A detailed history of your ear health and any hearing concerns will also be taken.

A full diagnostic hearing assessment will also be completed, including a range of tinnitus-specific hearing tests. The reason for this is, addressing any hearing loss can often help to reduce tinnitus awareness.

A comprehensive explanation of the results will be provided to you.

A full tinnitus assessment is up to two-hours with an experienced tinnitus specialist, for $200. Health rebates may apply.

You’ll also receive guidance and information on the mechanisms of tinnitus and the various strategies that can help relieve the experience of tinnitus.

These strategies may include a combination of:

  • Sound enrichment.
  • Amplification or hearing devices.
  • Behavioural techniques.
  • Stress reduction and relaxation strategies.
  • Values evaluation.
  • Behavioural techniques.

Tinnitus and hearing

If the tinnitus is accompanied by any hearing loss, the use of hearing aids can be helpful on a number of levels.

Well-fitting hearing aids not only assist with communication, but can also help by reducing the stress and fatigue associated with intensive listening, and by amplifying low-level background sound. This can result in a reduction in tinnitus awareness.

There are also devices that combine a hearing aid and a noise generator in a single unit, and these can provide the benefits of both.

Want to know more?

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