What is Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the name given to describe the sensation of any sound in the head or ears.  In a mild form tinnitus is extremely common. Almost everyone gets a ringing in the ears after being exposed to very loud sounds, such as at a music concert. About 10% of the adult population has tinnitus frequently or constantly.

Tinnitus may be described as many different sounds – perhaps ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming – which can be perceived in different ways. For some people it can even sound like music or singing.The noise or noises can vary from being hardly audible to a noise as loud as a raised voice.Sometimes it can beat in time with your pulse (this is known as pulsatile tinnitus). For some people,even quiet tinnitus can still be heard in a noisy background.  Tinnitus may be continuous, or interrupted by periods of quiet.

Tinnitus can occur in many different ways. It can be sensed as a single sound or noise in one ear, or in both ears – and a different sound or noise in each ear.  It may also sound as if it is coming from several locations inside the head.  It may become worse or better at different times of the day. It may change in pitch or even come and go at random. Some people say they have difficulty going to sleep or sleeping because of the tinnitus, whilst others say that sleep is the only relief they get from it.

The older we become, the more liable we become to hearing loss and tinnitus.The natural ‘wear and tear’ on the ears can be accelerated considerably by a noisy environment.The damage is temporary at first, but if the ears are not adequately protected, this will quickly become permanent. Many of the causes are not fully understood, but some are well known.?