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What is Tinnitus?

Approximately 17% of people suffer from Tinnitus. It is often described as being like ringing or whistling sounds, or some people experience it as a humming or buzzing. Around 17% of the population suffer from some form of tinnitus.  It is like hearing noises that sound as if they’re coming from within your ear.

In general, tinnitus comes and goes, but if it becomes particularly irritating or lasts for a long time, it’s a good idea to speak to one of our friendly audiologists. We’ll provide a full consultation and a range of strategies to help minimise the effects of your tinnitus.

Tinnitus management

Our audiologists are trained in a range of tinnitus management techniques and can provide professional advice and support. In particular, Debbie Lawrence RHAD FSHAA is an accredited tinnitus lay counsellor with the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) and runs regular tinnitus clinics from our main centre in Colchester.

It is known that tinnitus can often mask an underlying hearing loss. If this is diagnosed and a hearing aid is prescribed, it can help reduce or even eliminate the awareness of tinnitus altogether. Our audiologists will conduct an in-depth hearing and tinnitus assessment to determine if any hearing loss is present and if a hearing aid can help. We also offer alternative solutions, including a range of tinnitus therapies and accessories, along with referral to a specialist CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) counsellor if required.

Treatment package at our Tinnitus Clinic comprises:

  • 1 1/2 hour full diagnostic tinnitus and hearing assessment (£100), including ear examination with our video-otoscope camera.
  • Professional counselling and impartial advice on tinnitus management techniques and treatments, including noise generators, hearing aids and other solutions.
  • Free copy of the book  ‘Living with tinnitus and hyperacusis’  by Drs Laurence McKenna, David Baguley and Don McFerran (leading UK tinnitus experts)
  • Tinnitus information packs from the British Tinnitus Association
  • Follow-up and support sessions (£45)
  • Latest from the world of research and the quest for tinnitus relief

Tinnitus FAQ

How is tinnitus caused?

Although no one is completely sure yet how tinnitus develops, we do know that there are many ways in which it can be caused. More often than not, tinnitus is caused by some kind of change within the ear such as a build-up of earwax, a perforated eardrum, an ear infection, exposure to sustained loud noise or even due to other forms of illness.

If you take medication for another medical condition, it’s worth checking the side effects as certain medications can cause tinnitus in some patients. If this is the case, consult your doctor and see if an alternative is available.

Tinnitus is a problem experienced by many musicians who often suffer from tinnitus due to exposure to loud, sustained noise levels at concerts, nightclubs. It can even be caused by just listening to your music too loudy, this may cause temporary tinnitus. Over time, if habits remain the same, it can lead to chronic tinnitus. The best advice is to listen to your music at a sensible level and, if you’re going to a concert or a nightclub, consider wearing musician’s earplugs.

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a single cure for tinnitus. Questions remain around how tinnitus actually develops, so all we can do is combat the symptoms. That being said, many cases of tinnitus can be cured by dealing with the cause of it. For example, if your tinnitus is caused by a medical condition, it can be possible to get rid of the tinnitus by treating that condition.

It’s worth noting, though, that in roughly 85% of tinnitus cases, some form of hearing loss is present. We’ve found that in many cases, we’re able to manage the hearing loss which leads to the tinnitus subsiding and improving over time. If you’re concerned about tinnitus, the first thing you should do is have your hearing tested. It can sometimes be difficult to notice hearing loss when tinnitus is present. Try our online hearing test and book a consultation to find out how we can help.