Tinnitus awareness week occurs in the first full week of February.  Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sounds in your ears or in your head when no such sounds are present in the world around you.  It is often described as “ringing”, “whistling” or “buzzing” and may be continuous or intermittent.

Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease.  It most often occurs when there is a problem in the auditory system.  The auditory system begins at the ear and ends in the brain.  The exact locations and mechanism of tinnitus is still being researched.

Chronic tinnitus is estimated to affect 15% of the population and that number appears to be on the rise with COVID-19.

Many people will find that their tinnitus subsides over time or that they easily learn to ignore it or live with it.  Others may find it distressing and want it checked out. A smaller proportion of people can find it very distressing as it affects their sleep or their ability to concentrate.

Tinnitus is more common in people who have a hearing loss, but it can occur in people with normal hearing.  Cause of tinnitus include:

  • hearing loss
  • ear wax
  • exposure to loud noises
  • ear infections
  • tumours
  • head injuries
  • Meniere’s disease
  • some medicines

Stress, anxiety, caffeine, and some medicines can make tinnitus worse for people who already have it.

About 70% of people with hearing loss report tinnitus.  For these people, tinnitus can often be reduced or eliminated by using appropriately fitted hearing aids.

Our audiologists will evaluate your hearing and tinnitus and advise you on the best tinnitus treatment for your individual needs.

Other Resources:

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