"I don't know what silence sounds like any more. Music is the only thing which eases my pain...I can't be still. Work calms me down. I can't be quiet, as that's when I notice the ringing in my ears. There's always a beep there every day, all day. Like now. I don't know exactly how long I've had this, but it's gradually got worse."
“I made 'Harvest Moon' [in 1992] because I didn't want to hear any loud sounds. I still have a little bit of tinnitus, but fortunately now I'm not as sensitive to loud sounds as I was for a year after the mixing of 'Weld’ [in 1991]. My hearing's not perfect but it's okay.”
Neil Young, Musician.
For more information about tinnitus, check out the World leading authority:
The British Tinnitus Association
What is Tinnitus?
Have you ever heard funny sounds inside your head and wondered what they are and why they are there? Do they intefere with your daily life, maybe they affect your quality of sleep? You may be experiencing something known as Tinnitus. Check out the video below to hear people share their tinnitus sounds.
There are 2 types of tinnitus: Subjective and Objective.
Subjective tinnitus can only be heard by the person experiencing it, whilst objective tinnitus can be heard by the clinician examining the patient, but this isn't very common. Objective tinnitus is caused by things like a change in blood flow to the ear, temporal mandibular joint changes, or even by muscle spasms around the ear.
Tinnitus can be caused by prescription and non prescription medications, ear infections, viral infections, head injury, hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, and stress.
Everybody experiences tinnitus differently; it is very important that we take an entirely holistic and individual approach to tinnitus treatment, which is why at Cardiff Hearing, we have a range of health professionals on hand to help.
You're not alone.
Did you know Approximately 15% of the world’s population experiences tinnitus, where 70-90% of those will have accompanying hearing loss. For the most part, people can distract themselves from tinnitus where no treatment is required, but for 10-20% of the population experiencing tinnitus, they seek and require professional help.
We can't cure tinnitus, but we can treat it.
What you can expect from our time together.
The Initial Consultation:
Tinnitus therapy will vary between individuals. In order to develop a tailor made tinnitus treatment plan, our initial consultation will include:
1. A thorough medical history. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, however, it can sometimes be caused by underlying medical conditions and so if during our assessment I feel that this may be the case, I will write to your GP to recommend assessment by an ENT specialist to rule anything out that may require medical treatment. If an underlying medical cause is not suspected, we can proceed with your bespoke treatment plan.
2. Personal interview surrounding tinnitus and hearing ability. Here, we will have a chat to help me understand how your tinnitus is affecting you and your lifestyle so that I can get a sense of what is important to you and how it is best that we progress on this journey together.
3. A subjective evidence based questionnaire will be completed in order to help determine a baseline level for how significantly tinnitus is impacting upon your life, this will assist development of an individual care plan. If treatment is recommended, the questionnaire will be used as a validation tool later in the process to help understand how treatment has impacted your level of annoyance from tinnitus.
4. Thorough otoscopic examination to check the health of your ear canal and ear drum.
5. Full diagnostic audiometry to identify if there is any accompanying hearing loss and to diagnose the type of hearing loss; this will further help to develop an individual care plan.
Treatment will vary between individuals but may include some or all the following elements, and more besides:
Hearing amplification if there is an underlying hearing loss as this in itself can help to distract the brain from the tinnitus
Pointers for good sleep hygiene with tinnitus
Some tinnitus may be caused by physical problems and will need referral to Physiotherapy, a Chiropractor, Dentist, or your GP.
Referral to a Dr of Pyschology or Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for those with severe and catastrophic tinnitus as there may be much more than simply tinnitus going on for the individual
A variety of sound enrichment / the use of individualised fractal tones to help relax and distract – for example:
The frequency and intensity of tinnitus therapy appointments will depend on the individual needs of the client.