Tinnitus: What it is and how to manage it

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How common is tinnitus?

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What causes tinnitus?

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Janette Thorburn, Principal Audiologist at Australian Hearing

Top tips for tinnitus sufferers

  • Find out about tinnitus. This will reassure you that it’s not something nasty like a brain tumour.
  • Find the triggers. In many cases, identifying how you first became aware of tinnitus can help you understand it better and, in turn, makes the tinnitus less threatening.
  • Have your hearing checked. If there is evidence of hearing loss, get some kind of amplification such as a hearing aid.
  • Avoid complete quiet. Keeping your ears busy with some low-level background noise—such as the television or radio—can help your brain focus on those sounds rather than the ringing of the tinnitus.
  • Relieve the stress of tinnitus by trying to stay calm and relaxed. The relaxation response reduces the alertness state of the brain and, as the hearing system relaxes along with the rest of the body, tinnitus usually becomes less stressful.
  • Tinnitus often affects people when they go to sleep, so investigate ways to help you sleep better.

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