Did you know approximately 17 to 20% of Australians suffer from some degree of tinnitus, varying from mild to severe?*
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus refers to the persistent ringing or buzzing sounds you hear in your ears that are not in your external environment. Primarily noticed in quite environments or late at night, the tinnitus experience is unique to each individual. For some people, these sounds can be mild and for others, it can be so loud it may cause distress. Tinnitus can also be a temporary or permanent condition.
What causes tinnitus?
There are many causes of tinnitus such as ear infections, wax build up, age and most commonly, exposure to loud and persistent noise. The effects and cause of tinnitus is different from person to person, so it’s important to get regular hearing health checks to make sure you don’t have an underlying condition causing tinnitus.
What type of tinnitus counselling is available?
Assessment of your tinnitus and development of a treatment plan by a hearing care professional can help sufferers better deal with tinnitus and help to stop the condition from negatively affecting your quality of life. Tinnitus counselling will change your perception of the sounds you are hearing, helping you to reduce stress and refocus away from the noise. In fact, stress can make tinnitus feel worse, so it is best to be mindful that you are not anxious about the condition. In turn, this will help reduce the severity of the effects on your health and wellbeing.
Adapting to tinnitus is the core of tinnitus counselling – once you accept that you have the condition, it will have less of an effect on you emotionally.
Together with your tinnitus counsellor, you will develop techniques and tools that can keep you calm and help you manage your tinnitus – coping strategies that won’t stop you from getting a good night’s sleep or participating in a full and active life.
Another element of the tinnitus rehabilitation is to use tinnitus masking sounds which trains the brain to habitually focus away from tinnitus. There are devices that can be worn behind the ear creating broadband noise to help sufferers refocus their brain away from the tinnitus.
Lifestyle and tinnitus
You can help mitigate the effects of tinnitus by developing healthy routines:
- Having a regular sleep routine
- Live in a calm environment
- Surround yourself with pleasant sounds such as music or nature
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Wear hearing protection, such as earplugs, earmuffs or other noise masking devices when in a loud environment
- Exercising outdoors
- Keep yourself mentally active
- Avoid smoking and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum
- Meditate or relax regularly
If you or someone you love is suffering from tinnitus, please contact us for more information or book in a consult with one of our professionally trained hearing care professional who are here to help.
*Department of Health, State Government of Victoria, Australia.