Tinnitus is a term
that's used to describe
any sound that a person can hear
in their external environment.
It comes from Latin word "tinnare",
which means to ring,
very rarely described
these days as ringing in the ears.
It can be buzzing,
grinding, sizzling, hissing,
any number of different noises.
We want to try and
find the cause
a strong need
for a good medical opinion
there are some disease states
that have tinnitus
as part of their symptom profile.
In those cases
you can put it down to wax,
to problems with the inner ear,
the nerve of hearing or with the brain.
So let's exclude medical causes.
The question then is,
what's actually igniting the tinnitus?
that's causing it to start?
it's spontaneous activity
within the hearing system
is then prioritised,
and given reaction to by the brain.
In my left ear
I've got a ringing noise
which is very loud
also got , if you listened
into a shell on the beach,
a whirring, crashing-wave sound.
I get that in my left ear.
In my right ear
two different sounds as well.
One is a very high-pitched ringing
and the other is a very low ring.
mistake to think that people
only hear one consistent noise
many people the experience
is of several different noises,
sometimes as many as seven or eight,
and they can vary quite considerably.
For some people it's
that unpredictability, that variability
that's a major source of the problem.
I have trouble with my tinnitus
when I'm trying to get to sleep.
only time that it really
bothers me and it is really loud.
Because you're lying there in the
trying to get to sleep,
ten times louder
than it probably is.
The emotional upset
feeds the physical upset,
feeds the awareness of the tinnitus.
in a classic vicious circle
of stress, anxiety and tinnitus.
I think maybe three or four times
since I got the condition in 2005,
so over the last five years,
been four or five moments
where I thought, "It's gone completely"
couple of seconds,
and then it comes back again.
So no, it's
always there but generally
I can cope with it through the day.
Sometimes it gets to a point
where it's all I can hear
and it is really quite annoying.
"Will it ever go away?"
Maybe that's the wrong question.
"Will I ever learn
to get to grips with this?"
"Will I get my quality of life back?"
And in the majority of people
in the clinical tinnitus population
"Yes, we can help with that."
What does seem to work
for people with tinnitus
is clear, structured understanding,
"Why has this happened to me and
why is this having this impact upon me?"
And then the use of well-established
that seem to be of benefit.
This involves counselling,
or at least
of where the tinnitus is occurring,
why it has
what the future holds.
Secondly, in some people,
the use of sound,
either an environmental sound generator,
sound of the rain
or the ocean,
devices that produce
a white noise, a "Shh" noise,
to try and
the starkness of the tinnitus.
For some people
formal cognitive behaviour therapy
seems to be helpful.
By no means necessary for everybody,
but a good evidence base again
to change their beliefs about tinnitus
they do that, to be able
to habituate better to the tinnitus.
I think being positive
is the only way to deal with it.
I'm that sort of person anyway,
but I think
you've got to just get on with it,
you've got the condition for life now
and you have to do as much as you can,
listening to music,
keeping yourself busy,
so you can get to sleep at night
doesn't get in the way
of your life.
Go and see your GP
and talk to them about it.
to be full of knowledge about tinnitus,
them won't have had it covered
in their training,
but they can be a gatekeeper for you
and experienced clinical opinion
ear, nose and throat doctor
or from an audiologist,
who will be
able to work with you
to understand why you have it,
and what you can do about it.