Inner Ear


What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the word used to describe sounds a person hears inside their head that aren’t coming from outside. This can be ringing, humming, whistling or cicadas. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss; ie aging, blocked ears, industrial noise, drug toxicity to the ears, ear trauma or infections.

Tinnitus in only one ear may need further tests carried out to exclude a benign tumour of the balance nerve (an acoustic neuroma).

Click here for more information on Sudden Deafness

If you hear your pulse in your ear (pulsatile tinnitus) this needs to be checked urgently by your doctor.

What Makes Tinnitus Worse?

  • tired or stressed
  • it seems louder in quiet surroundings
  • caffeine and alcohol
  • some medications ie asprin
  • inflammation (locally; neck, jaw joints, teeth or sinuses or general conditions ie autoimmune disease)
  • some foods
  • focusing on tinnitus
  • anything which makes the hearing worse ie blocked ears

Who Can Help You?

  • TOLBECS can offer;
  • your pharmacist can review your medications and advise you of any possible medication causes
  • anyone with tinnitus should see an audiologist for a full assessment – they will guide you on your next steps


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