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    Tinnitus is not a disease or an illness but a symptom generated by the person's own auditory pathway. Tinnitus is sometimes considered as a result of some other disease of the ears but this is not always the case. Other conditions can make the tinnitus subjectively worse. Causes can include;

    *    Noise induced hearing loss by sustained loud noise (factory) or sudden noise (gunshot)
    *    Age related hearing loss
    *    Outer/middle ear issues; excessive ear wax, Eustachian tube dysfunction, foreign bodies
    *    Sinus Pressure/Barotrauma; diving, flying, sinus infection, concussive explosion
    *    Ménière's Disease
    *    Ototoxic drug side effects; some antibiotics, diuretics, quinine based or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    *    Psychiatric disorders; stress, anxiety or depression
    *    Metabolic disorders; hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, anaemia or hormonal changes
    *    Autoimmune disorders; Lyme’s disease, fibromyalgia
    *    Cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis
    *    Head/neck trauma


    *    Thorough Clinical History
    *    Otoscopy - looking in ear canals
    *    Tympanometry  - check middle ear pressures and movement of the ear drum
    *    Audiology - hearing test
    *    Loudness Discomfort Levels - No real usefulness as usually makes patients more anxious
    *    Tinnitus Matching - No real usefulness except to validate a patient's perception of the tinnitus.


    *    A good explanation of the condition - a form of counselling
    *    Reassuring the patient that it is a condition - patient feels less anxiety when they are believed and understood
    *    Various forms of counselling such as medical, private, lay or group counselling
    *    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
    *    Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Management of Tinnitus Symptoms:

    Counselling and Sound therapy are the two commonest forms of enabling the tinnitus sufferer to management their symptoms. Sound therapy uses sound to provide an alternative auditory stimulus to distract a person from their tinnitus, it is also known as 'sound enrichment' as it aims to replace the disturbing tinnitus with a more soothing sound that is less abrasive to a person.

    Examples of these could be something as simple as the sound of rain or rushing water or it could be relaxing meditation type music. Examples of both can be found at the following links:

    11 Hours of Calming Sea/Ocean waves

3 Hours of Wind/Snow Storm Sounds

3 Hours of Relaxing/Sleep Music

Rehabilitation Software/Applications:

    There are applications for smart phones that have been made specifically to alleviate and help manage tinnitus and these are generally available for free form the leading hearing aid manufacturers.

    The principal idea when using sound-therapy products is not to block out the tinnitus completely, but use the different sounds to distract your brain from focusing in on it. This will help your brain's filtering system learn to 'ignore' the tinnitus sounds, so you are no longer overly aware of them.


Oticon Tinnitus Sound



Phonak Tinnitus Balance



Resound Tinnitus Relief



Beltone Tinnitus Calmer



Widex Zen - Tinnitus Management



Starkey Relax



Siemens Signia Counseling Suite

PC (Download)


Sound and Noise generators (also called Tinnitus relaxers). These can take the form of:

*    Wearable items similar to hearing aids but produce a white noise instead.
*    Bedside or desktop generators that play a soothing sound
*    Sound Pillows, these have speakers inside that either play white noise or are connected to bedside generators.
*    Additionally a MP3 player with ear phones or CD player by the bedside playing recorded white/pink noise will sometimes be a good alternative to the above mentioned items.

Examples of some products and places to obtain them, you may be able to source them elsewhere and cheaper:

Action on Hearing Loss - Tinnitus Products

British Tinnitus Association - Shop

Amazon Website - Tinnitus Products

Connevans - Tinnitus Products

Further Information:

The following websites may provide more information:

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