Tinnitus & Hyperacusis

Do you have constant or occasional sense of ringing, buzzing, whistling, humming, clicking, or hissing in your ears? Or perhaps an increased or over-sensitivity to sound? These conditions are called tinnitus and hyperacusis – and you don’t have to live with them.

Diagnosing tinnitus

Tinnitus is typically caused by hearing loss, noise exposure or medication (over 200 different kinds, including aspirin). There are several ways to treat it:

Hearing aids
Sound therapy with hearing aids exercises the auditory portion of the brain and creates stimulation in areas with hearing loss. There are also hearing aids available that feature tinnitus and relaxation programmes, incorporating peaceful background sounds for tinnitus sufferers.

Counselling
The use of hearing aids and sound therapy to treat tinnitus must be accompanied by education, counselling and stress management. In some cases, it may be beneficial to include professionals from other disciplines.

If you’d like more information on tinnitus, please contact us today. We can help you.

Unpacking hyperacusis

Often tinnitus is associated with hyperacusis, with an increased or over-sensitivity to sound. This condition is characterised by abnormal discomfort in response to sounds that are tolerable for those with normal hearing.

Although hyperacusis may follow a blow to the head or exposure to loud noise, for many people its onset is baffling because it occurs independently of other identifiable disorders. Having said that, hyperacusis is a recognised symptom of several conditions and is sometimes associated with:

  • noise trauma,
  • head injury,
  • reactions to drugs,
  • viruses,
  • allergic reactions,
  • auto-immune disorders,
  • chronic ear infections,
  • hearing loss,
  • brain injury,
  • post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • migraines,
  • some types of depression,
  • vitamin B6 deficiency,
  • Tay-sach’s Disease,
  • chronic fatigue syndrome,
  • neurological disorders and
  • autism

The first step in managing hyperacusis involves a full audiological work-up by a qualified audiologist. Contact us today for more information and to book an appointment