Are Your Ears Still Ringing in the New Year? You May Have Tinnitus
What is Tinnitus?
It is the hearing of sound when no external sound is present. With some people it is always there. With others it comes and goes. Often it is described as a ringing, but it may also present as a clicking, whistling, hissing, or roaring sensation. It is often more noticeable at night as there is less background noise to distract you from the tinnitus. Given such, sleeping can be difficult.
Who Does Tinnitus Affect?
It affects 10-15% of the adult population, being more common as we age. It is also common during pregnancy. Otherwise it affects females and males equally.
It can be caused by a lot of different reasons such as:
- The side effect of medication.
- Problems affecting the neck.
- Jaw problems.
- Exposure to loud sounds.
- Inner ear problems.
- Middle ear infections.
- Head injury.
- Age related changes.
- Excessive ear wax.
- High blood pressure.
- Autoimmune problems.
- Hormonal changes.
- Caffeine and nicotine.
Will Tinnitus Go Away?
Depending on the cause it can be permanent or temporary. It is therefore vital to have it initially assessed by a physician or audiologist. From their assessment they will rule in and out certain conditions. They will also determine if consultation with other health care providers (i.e. otolaryngologist, physiotherapist), or medical investigations are warranted.
How Tinnitus is Treated.
It is treated differently from person to person as not everyone has the same cause. Therefore, medical follow-up is vital. Once the cause is determined, a treatment plan can be developed which may include:
- Taking or avoiding certain medication.
- Avoiding salt, nicotine, and caffeine.
- The use of “white noise” (background noise) to distract you from the tinnitus. Examples of this are a radio, TV, bathroom fan, and downloadable white noise (recording of rain, waves hitting the shore, etc.).
- Neck and/or jaw treatment by a physiotherapist.
- Counselling and tinnitus retraining therapy.
- Hearing aides.
Prevention is key. So, remember to wear hearing protection and get prompt treatment for ear infections. In addition to this ensure that you are having adequate rest, making good dietary choices, exercising regularly, and having regular medical check-ups.
Further information can be found at:
If you have tinnitus that you believe is coming from your neck or jaw, feel free to book an assessment with one of our physiotherapists. You can call North 49 at 306-343-7776. Alternatively, you can book an appointment 24/7 online at https://www.north49therapy.com/book-appointment/.
If you continue to have questions about tinnitus feel free to talk to your family physician, audiologist, or reach out to us at North 49.