We can define tinnitus as a condition where you hear sounds in your ears, although no physical sound is present. Tinnitus usually presents itself as a ringing sound, but it can also be heard as a whooshing, humming or buzzing. Anyone who hears these noises in their ears on a regular basis may be experiencing tinnitus. 

Around one in five experience tinnitus to varying degrees. Some people barely notice the condition, reporting that it comes and goes at a low volume. Others experience tinnitus persistently, as loud sounds that interfere with their daily lives.

Tinnitus is often caused by damage to the ears, it may also be caused by ear infections, excess earwax or an underlying health issue. Such health issues could be neurological, or a disorder of the neck or jaw. If you believe that you are having tinnitus symptoms, a hearing healthcare professional can offer diagnosis and treatment.

Can tinnitus be temporary?

Tinnitus can be either temporary or chronic, depending on the cause. For example, some people will have temporary tinnitus after being exposed to particularly loud noise. When tinnitus is caused by an ear infection or earwax, patients should find that the tinnitus goes away after the problem is resolved. 

If the tinnitus is caused by long-term health conditions or hearing loss, it’s more likely that condition will become chronic. Either way, your hearing healthcare professional can provide treatment options to manage tinnitus and improve your hearing care.

Can you reduce tinnitus? 

Yes. If you experience ongoing tinnitus there are several options to reduce the symptoms. One of the most popular is a special hearing aid that’s fitted with tinnitus masking features. Another option is using a sound machine that plays ambient noises or white noise. 

These machines are particularly useful for tinnitus patients who struggle to sleep. For some people, tinnitus retraining therapy is more effective. The therapy teaches behavioral techniques that can help you to ignore the sounds, and improve your lifestyle.

Which home remedies can help with tinnitus symptoms?

Tinnitus symptoms can be worsened by stress and so it’s also worth trying a few home remedies to relax. You might like to try meditation, a sound therapy app or a long hot bath. Other relaxation techniques include yoga, Pilates or writing in a journal. 
Your hearing healthcare professional may be able to offer further advice for managing your tinnitus symptoms. Sometimes it takes a few different approaches to find the best solution for you.

What should you do if you have tinnitus? 

If you think you have tinnitus it’s best to book an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional, for diagnosis and treatment. Your hearing healthcare professional can perform tests, assess your medical history and refer you to a doctor, if necessary. The sooner you get your ears examined, the faster you can gain treatment and support for any underlying health issues.