Tinnitus FAQ

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the awareness of a sound sensation that is not due to an external sound source. There are two main types of tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is something only you can hear and is often caused by sensorineural hearing loss, trauma, shock or stress. Objective tinnitus can be heard by the person who has it as well as from outside. It is often heard in rhythm with the hearts beat. For a detailed explanation please read our What is Tinnitus? article.

What does tinnitus sound like?

Tinnitus originates from the Latin word ‘tinnīre’ which means to ring. Tinnitus might manifest as a ringing sound however it can take a number of different forms. These might include ringing, whistling, buzzing or musical notes. Please read our article on What Tinnitus Sounds Like? for more information.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be caused by a wide variety of causes. These can include sensorineural hearing loss, medical procedures, medical complaints, stress, trauma and anything overwhelming. Please see our Common Causes of Tinnitus article.

Is tinnitus permanent?

Problematic tinnitus does not have to be permanent. Problematic tinnitus is characterised by a negative somatic and psychological reaction to it. These can be worked with so that tinnitus is able to recede into the background so that you are no longer aware of it. Tinnitus comes in shades of grey. It can get better depending on the support you have and help you get. You do not need to suffer if you have tinnitus. We offer tinnitus retraining therapy as a stand alone therapy.

What is tinnitus habituation?

Habituation is a form of learning where we decrease or cease to respond to a stimulus after repeated presentations. Tinnitus habituation means that we are no longer aware of a tinnitus stimulus most of the time and when we are aware of it, we no longer respond negatively to it. This is an attainable goal with the right therapy, help and support. Tinnitus habituation can be achieved by tinnitus retraining therapy offered by our sister company The Trauma Practice.

What is tinnitus retraining therapy?

Tinnitus retraining therapy is a process which enables you to become desensitized to a tinnitus stimulus. This means that tinnitus becomes less intrusive, less loud and can disappear into the background of your awareness. When you do become more aware of it, you no longer have a reaction to it. Tinnitus retraining therapy is available from The Trauma Practice in London Paddington or via Skype if you live further afield.

Do ear buds cause tinnitus?

Ear buds are what many people use to listen to their phones or iPods. One of the leading causes of tinnitus is sensorineural hearing loss. Listening to music at an unsafe volume using any device can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Using ear buds does not allow any background noise to enter the ear and can internalise the tinnitus making it more intrusive after listening to earbuds.

What is Tinnitus masking?

Tinnitus masking describes the process of covering over or masking a tinnitus stimulus with another more pleasant sound. Tinnitus masking devices are available from our sister company Tinnitus Hearing Solutions. Products include bedside tinnitus maskers, wearable tinnitus maskers and white noise downloads and nature downloads.

What is Tinnitus Sound Therapy?

Tinnitus sound therapy is a broad terms which describes the way sound can be used to help retrain a negative tinnitus response, provide relaxation, tinnitus masking or partial tinnitus masking. Tinnitus sound therapy is often used as part of a tinnitus retraining therapy approach. To learn more click tinnitus sound therapy.

How can I prevent tinnitus?

Tinnitus prevention is helped if you look after your hearing health. This means regular check-ups with an audiologist. Protecting your hearing from loud noise also plays a crucial part in tinnitus prevention. We might work in noisy environments or use machinery that requires hearing protection on a regular basis. Turning down the volume on music devices can also help to protect your hearing.

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