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Tinnitus - What is it and how to treat it

The rhythmic call of cicadas is a welcome sound of summer for many Australians, signaling lazy days and balmy nights. But what if you experienced a similar ringing sound in your ears all the time?

This is a reality for one in seven Australians who experience tinnitus. In many cases, tinnitus is only temporary and can be brought on after a concert or even a gym class. Yet for others, the ringing noise is constant. From missing punch lines to sleepless nights, tinnitus can cause people stress, frustration and tiredness.

Tinnitus can be caused by several factors, such as age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise or earwax blockage.

How do I stop tinnitus?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for tinnitus but it can be managed with the help of technology and a few lifestyle changes. The first step is to identify what is causing tinnitus and if necessary, take a hearing test. If results show a hearing loss, a hearing device can help reduce the annoyance of the ringing or buzzing noise.

Other helpful tips include:

Avoid silence.

Keeping your ears busy with background noise, such as the television or radio, can help your brain focus on those sounds instead of the ringing noise.

Keep calm and relaxed.

Tinnitus can be triggered by stress and tiredness, so relaxing activities such as a massage or yoga can offer relief. There are also a range of devices, such as the Sound Oasis Sound Therapy System, which are specifically designed to create a relaxing atmosphere for a good night's sleep.

Check your medications.

Talk to your family doctor as some medications can cause or worsen tinnitus.

Ease off on caffeine gradually.

Tea, coffee, soft drink and chocolate can temporarily worsen tinnitus for some people.

Talk to a hearing professional to learn more about tinnitus treatment, contact us.

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Hearing Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land that we live and work on, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.