Do you often find that you can hear noises, even when there doesn’t seem to be an external source? Tinnitus is the name given to hearing sounds that aren’t produced by outside influences or the environment around you. If you have tinnitus, you may find that you can hear noises even when the room is silent or other people can’t hear them. If you think you might have tinnitus and you’re wondering whether to see an audiologist, hopefully, you’ll find this guide helpful.

What exactly is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is not a condition as such. It is a name used to describe being able to hear sounds that don’t come from an external source, such as a radio, a car or another person. Often, tinnitus is a temporary issue, which tends to coincide with bursts or episodes of exposure to loud noises. However, in some cases, it can be a long-term issue, which can have a negative impact on day to day life.

Symptoms of tinnitus

Most commonly, tinnitus is described as ringing in the ears, but it can cause a whole host of sounds to be audible. Examples include:

  • Whooshing
  • Whirring
  • Buzzing
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Throbbing

If you can hear noises when there is no outside source, this indicates that you are experiencing tinnitus.

Have I got tinnitus?

It’s very common to experience symptoms of tinnitus when you’ve been to a nightclub or a concert, for example. Loud music can often cause you to hear ringing or buzzing noises in your ears when you get into bed. In the vast majority of cases, people find that the symptoms have subsided by the time they wake up in the morning. If you have more persistent or frequent bouts of tinnitus, this may be symptomatic of occupational hazards, for example, if you work in a noisy environment or you operate heavy machinery or there may be underlying hearing issues.

Should I seek help for tinnitus?

If you do have symptoms of tinnitus on a regular basis, it’s wise to get in touch with an audiologist. Sometimes, tinnitus is linked to hearing loss and people find that their symptoms are exacerbated because being unable to hear properly exaggerates the humming, ringing and whirring noises. If tests do show hearing loss, your audiologist may recommend wearing hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify sounds, and often when you can hear better, the noises associated with tinnitus become a lot less noticeable. There are also other therapies and treatments on offer, including sound therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy.

If you struggle to sleep because you’re plagued by ringing or buzzing noises, or you can never really enjoy silence even in quiet, peaceful environments, we recommend seeing an audiologist. Tinnitus is often a temporary issue, but in some cases, it can make life challenging. There are treatments available and your audiologist will be able to recommend therapies based on your individual needs and the results of tests and examinations. If you have any queries or you’ve started to experience symptoms more frequently, why not give your audiologist a call today?