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What is Tinnitus?

Published 2nd February 2021, in Blog

1-7 February is Tinnitus Awareness week, but what is it and where can we go for support?

Do you experience ringing, music, or buzzing in your ears? You are not alone. One in ten people has ongoing persistent sounds in their ears that are not due to external noise. These sensations are known as ‘tinnitus’. According to the British Tinnitus Association, the noise may be in one or both ears, or it may feel like it is in the head. It is difficult to pinpoint its exact location. It may be low, medium, or high pitched and can be heard as a single noise or as multiple components.

Common causes of tinnitus:

  • Exposure to loud noises including listening to music with or without headphones
  • Ear wax or ear infections
  • Stress and anxiety, and a variety of medical conditions
  • It is rare that tinnitus is a result of any serious health condition.

The NHS advise you to see a GP if:

  • you have tinnitus regularly or constantly
  • your tinnitus is getting worse
  • your tinnitus is bothering you – for example, it’s affecting your sleep or concentration
  • You experience tinnitus after a head injury
  • Have sudden hearing loss, weakness in the muscles of your face, or a spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • If in doubt, check it out!

How we can help

You can ask your GP to refer you to the local Audiology (hearing) Department where they have a number of Audiologists with specialist training in tinnitus.

Or why not contact our See Hear team for free advice and information on managing hearing loss. Call freephone 0300 303 3691 or email seehearnd@livingoptions.org. Visit the See Hear Centre support information web page or our website page on Your Sight and Hearing.

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