Will my tinnitus ever improve?

Tinnitus is a sound that only you can hear. It usually takes the form of a hissing, buzzing, whistling or ringing noise. People who suffer with tinnitus report that it greatly impacts their daily life. It contributes to increased anxiety and disturbed sleep.

Hearing loss & tinnitus

We know that sufferers are constantly asking themselves when the tinnitus will ever improve.  Simply put, tinnitus is a reaction in the brain to damage in the ear / ear canal. There are countless health related issues that are linked to causing tinnitus but the most common by far is hearing loss. The connection between hearing loss and tinnitus is still being researched but it is commonly believed that tinnitus occurs when the brain attempts to fill in the missing sound frequencies that it no longer hears naturally. Noise-induced hearing loss can also cause tinnitus symptoms. The good news for people who suffer from tinnitus caused by hearing loss, is that wearing hearing aids often alleviates the tinnitus symptoms.

Tinnitus can be very debilitating

Other causes of tinnitus

Blockages in the ear canal can also cause tinnitus symptoms. Luckily, these blockages are usually simply removed by a healthcare professional using microsuction earwax removal.

Tinnitus symptoms can also be caused by other trauma or conditions. A severe head injury can result in the development of tinnitus. This happens if the brain’s auditory processing areas are damaged in the injury.

Suffering with a sinus infection can also cause you to experience tinnitus symptoms due to abnormal pressure in the middle ear. Most likely, the tinnitus will disappear once the infection has cleared up.

Extreme changes in air or water pressure can temporarily cause you to experience tinnitus symptoms. An example of this would be when you are taking off or landing in an airplane. In some rare cases, you can cause damage to the middle or inner ear while scuba diving or snorkelling which may cause you to suffer with tinnitus.

How can I look after my hearing on a flight?

Changes in air pressure can result in temporary tinnitus

There are many prescription medications that cite tinnitus as a potential side-effect of taking them. In most cases, any tinnitus symptoms will go once you stop taking that medication. There are some drugs that are known to cause permanent tinnitus symptoms. You can discuss any concerns regarding these with your doctor.

So, will the tinnitus ever improve?

Tinnitus is a symptom of something else, and not the root cause of the problem. The symptoms of tinnitus can be improved by treating the underlying cause or issue that is causing the tinnitus in the first place.

There are some things that we would advise you avoid if you suffer with tinnitus. These are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation and stress. Anything you can do to limit these factors in your life could help to calm your tinnitus symptoms.

As we already mentioned, the vast majority of people who suffer with tinnitus also suffer with hearing loss. Given that tinnitus symptoms are often alleviated when the root cause is treated, it stands to reason that if that cause is hearing loss, wearing hearing aids will significantly reduce the tinnitus. The hearing aids can restore high frequency hearing meaning the brain no longer needs to attempt to “fill in” for you. Not only that, but many hearing aids also have specific tinnitus programs that can be put onto the hearing aids to help with the effect of tinnitus. This is known as Tinnitus Sound Therapy Software. There are also a range of tinnitus / sound therapy apps that can connect with Bluetooth equipped hearing aids.

Phonak Lumity Hearing Aid

Hearing aids could potentially help to reduce your tinnitus

If you’d like some help with your tinnitus, or are interested in what we can offer, please get in touch.

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