Tinnitus is a common ear condition that is characterised by hearing noises that aren’t caused by an outside source or the environment around you. It’s not technically a serious condition and doesn’t signify anything more sinister, but it is an annoyance and frustrating for some sufferers. Tinnitus sounds like a ringing, buzzing, whooshing, humming, hissing, throbbing, music or singing. It can sound shrill, or low in frequency. These sounds can appear in one or both ears or appear to be inside your head. They may come and go, or they may be constantly buzzing in your ears.
Tinnitus treatments – Ear wax removal
Removing impacted earwax can decrease tinnitus symptoms, because the build-up of ear wax can limit your hearing abilities and therefore magnify the ‘sounds’ of tinnitus. Ear wax is perfectly normal in ear and should be left alone if perceived as ‘normal’, because the ear is self-cleaning. However, if you perceive it is beginning to become a problem then you may want to consider professional removal and treatment with an ENT specialist.
Do’s and don’ts of tinnitus care
- DO try to relax through deep breathing or yoga.
- DO try to improve your sleep pattern and quality of sleep.
- DO try masking the sound of tinnitus with white noise machines, music, and masking devices.
- DO try to reduce your stress levels as this can exaggerate your symptoms
- DO take some time for yourself.
- DO consider joining a self-help group or support group.
- DON’T sit in total silence, as this can amplify the ‘sounds’ of tinnitus and cause them to become more noticeable and irritable.
- DON’T stand close to speakers at clubs, festivals, bars, or parties as this can exaggerate your tinnitus.
- DON’T focus on the noise as this can worsen it, instead try to distract yourself with the above, or hobbies and activities to focus on.
The relationship between tinnitus and stress
Your stress levels directly relate in your tinnitus symptoms. For example, those who are stressed because of their tinnitus may feel increased feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and irritability because they are hyper-aware and hyper-sensitive to their tinnitus. Additionally, stress can be what brings tinnitus on in some cases. It’s not always implicitly clear which came first in some cases, the tinnitus or stress, but both have their effect on the other. For some people, tinnitus acts as a direct barometer to their stress levels, often worsening during periods of anxiety or negativity.
Tinnitus treatments in London are accessible and confidential with Mr Jonathan Hughes, specialist ENT. Get in touch today to book your initial appointment in your area.