Tinnitus has commonly been described as a ringing in the ear, though the sounds resulting from tinnitus could also be described as a hissing, clicking, whistling or whirring. You may have experienced temporary tinnitus after attending a loud party or concert. Unfortunately, for many people, tinnitus is a daily and ongoing permanent reality.
How Does Tinnitus Affect Ones Quality of Life?
According to The Hearing Foundation of Canada, more than 360,000 Canadians experience tinnitus with almost 50% of those cases being severe enough to affect their quality of life. Those with tinnitus may experience a reduced ability to concentrate, a hypersensitivity to sound, and they may also experience depression and fatigue. In some instances, tinnitus can affect your social life as well.
What are the different kinds of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can generally be divided into two types of physical conditions: subjective and objective:
The most common form of tinnitus is subjective tinnitus. This tinnitus involves you hearing annoying whistling/buzzing/high-pitched noises that aren’t really there. Some causes for subjective tinnitus include but are not limited to
- Ear damage from loud noises
- Some drugs
- Ear Infections
- Some diseases and neurological disorders
- Hearing loss
Objective tinnitus is a rarer form of this condition where your blood vessels or muscles are making noises that are loud enough for you to hear…your doctor may be able to hear it during your examination! This tinnitus can be caused by
- Muscle spasms around the middle ear
- Myoclonus or a vascular condition
What Should You Do If You Think You Have Tinnitus?
Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus that is recognized by the medical community, but there are ways to cope. Many people with tinnitus say that stress and focusing on the buzzing caused by this condition can make the experience worse. Consult your doctor if you think you may have tinnitus; he or she may refer you to an ENT doctor who can assess and treat your tinnitus.
Are you ready to start your journey to better hearing? If you are a Canadian over the age of 18 who may have hearing loss, book a free hearing test with us today!