Living with tinnitus: an online guide

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Tinnitus is a hearing condition that can cause considerable frustration, confusion and irritation. It is characterised by a ringing, roaring or hissing noise in the ears that can’t be traced back to an external cause. This can be very disconcerting and disruptive for the sufferer.

Typically, tinnitus varies in intensity and can be intermittent or permanent. It can also be affected by a number of factors, including stimuli such as drinking wine or exercising. Find out more about tinnitus, such as its causes and some ways to manage the condition, with the help of some excellent online resources.

The facts about tinnitus

Tinnitus is not a disease, but it is a condition that can have a big impact on the lives of its sufferers. For a good description of tinnitus, including symptoms, causes and potential treatments, have a look at the information available from the NHS. While tinnitus is a problem that can strike at any age, it is often associated with growing older and can be caused by the natural aging process as well as a number of other factors.

There are two types of tinnitus, objective and subjective. Objective tinnitus is much less common and is characterised by noises that can be heard by someone examining the patient as well as the patient themselves. These noises are caused by muscle spasms or abnormal blood vessels. In some cases, there may be a surgical cure for this variance of the condition.

Subjective tinnitus can only be heard by the patient and is often caused by injury to the tiny hair cells of the cochlea, this damage can be caused by certain drugs, exposure to loud noises and the aging process. Learn more about the different types of tinnitus with this guide from the American Tinnitus Association.

Learning to live with tinnitus

While there is no simple cure-all for tinnitus, there are a number of ways that its effects can be lessened and the condition improved. At Action Hearing Loss, you’ll find an excellent series of resources that can help you cope with tinnitus, including a guide to the variety of treatments on offer and also hints and tips for managing the condition. The British Tinnitus Association has also put together an extremely useful collection of tinnitus support resources, including forums where you can talk to other sufferers and a list of reliable sources of information and publications.

Another very useful resource is this list of common tinnitus myths, collected by the team at Hearing Link. There is a lot of misinformation about tinnitus available and this list attempts to dispel some of the more spurious claims. For example, many people believe that caffeine can adversely affect the condition but this is not the case.

There is a whole host of support and services available for you both online and through your local doctor. If you’re having problems with tinnitus, reach out for help, support and access to potential treatments.

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Silversurfers Features Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Features Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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Colinmec
13 hours ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Sorry about tinnitus i have it in my left ok during day but when im going to sleep cant stop the noise try masking but no good only thing is sleeping pills
angelica06
6 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Hello, I've had tinnitus in my left ear for over 10 years around the same time as having radiotherapy treatment, whether that was coincidental or not I don't know. The noise over the last few years has changed to a more pulsating one sounding like a heartbeat. If I put pressure on the side of my neck it stops temporarily but the moment I take the pressure away it whooshes back again. I'd previously attended ENT had an MRI which was clear but like most people have just had to learn to live with it. I also can't get off to sleep without the radio on in the background.
reet
25th Oct 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Had tinnitus for 30 odd years first in my left ear then my right ear a few years later. Coped with it up until last March went to docs he referred me to hospital audio dep got diagnosed with hearing loss due to work realated hearing damage back in early 1980s through working down pit,ended up with two hearing aids ,does mask it while wearing them but if I take them out jeeeeez I no about it ,I tend to leave mine in all the while especially at bedtime it helps me to sleep a lot better
Birdie McBirdface
25th Oct 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Snap redchris, I started with one hearing aid a couple of years ago and progressed to two earlier this year (as they had stopped making the model I originally had, I ended up with updated versions that have different settings, much improved on the original one) supplied by my local audiology dept at a hospital. I only have tinnitus in one ear (started about 4 years ago after a very nasty chest infection ended up in hosp as gp thought it might be a blood clot on the lung but thankfully it wasn't) - as you say, when you take the hearing aids out is when tinnitus reminds you that you are never alone and silence would indeed be golden.
redchris
24th Oct 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Please get referred to hospital and they can always help I received an hearing aid which blanked out the noise . I now wear two hearing aid due to deafness , when wearing them I'm fine but as soon as I take the aids out the tinnitus is there . No easy answers
carolina1
24th Oct 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Hello, I have a fan on at night to mask the noise.
Ariadne
22nd Oct 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Being a qualified Tinnitus sufferer ,,,,and suffer we do. I have a
meeting with a hospital Tinnitus manager,,every six months and my first question,
is always the same ""is there a cure YET"" Her head shake says it all.Mine is the brain type ,,not passing the right messages to shut out different noises . I have been given the ear pieces that do help,but they do need tuning like a formula one race car.
Radio on at bedtime Radio 4 ,,but falling asleep is the problem,so I take a low dose sleeping tablet, as sleep deprivation ,can cause severe health problems. noise certainly not caused my problem as I have lived in the country most of my life
Ariadne
3rd Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Thought i would reply to myself ,as no one else seems interested in my TinnItus cross that I have to bear. The philharmonic on a bad day and a kettle whistle on a good day. Must do this more often !!!!! .
jeanymay
4th Nov 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Glad I'm not the only one who sometimes gets ignored x
Hamie
30th Dec 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
My daughter who will be 40 in February, suffers from B12 deficiency and Tinnitus was one of her side effects from this along with sleeplessness memory loss among other things.
Aunty Apple
30th Dec 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I have had 24/7 tinnitus for about 50 years now. I have to listen to the radio as I try to fall asleep as it is at its loudest during periods of silence...
grangrad
10th Aug 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Hi all, this is my first time in a chat room. I've had tinnitus for a long time now, through a noisy work environment, leaving me deaf in one ear, before the H&S laws were popular. I sometimes use a machine that makes an adjustable wind like noise, which helps at night but my dog who sleeps on the bed doesn't appreciate it.
It is usually music or songs in my head repeating constantly, I find that it can sometimes be stopped by repeating a Mantra in my head to drown it out. I have a hearing aid which does sometimes help.
Wilf
10th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
My father has tinnitus (he is 86) and while its not too severe he finds it does bother him especially when he sits down or is going to sleep. Its surprising that it has not be cured yet by the medical world.
rosie49
21st Oct 2014
2
Thanks for voting!
so happy I found you.
havent had time to really look at everything but I have very bad tinnitus and the article on grey hair is interesting! although I must say I have started to have my grey hair coloured by foils and it works really well and has improved the texture of my hair as it was very bitty and course. I have a husband who is 20years younger so have to make and effort!!he doesn't mind me being grey but I felt that I always looked washed out!
jimbob
26th Dec 2014
0
Thanks for voting!
I have a friend who has Tinnitus and he goes to bed with a radio on very low in volume just to stop the ringing that he gets when in total silence, I used to have the sound of a dripping tap in my head until I had a Major operation on my inner ear glad to say that cured me from noise and pain but left me with 50% hearing lose but after having pain for 10 years I would have gone deaf to escape the pain, if you try this I hope it works for you
0
Thanks for voting!
Glad you found us too rosie49! Keep surfing and see what else you can find, and comment on anything which you find interesting 🙂
jimbob
26th Dec 2014
0
Thanks for voting!
Just tried to reply to a letter and it would not go it was permanently trying to send
jimbob
26th Dec 2014
1
Thanks for voting!
I have a friend who has Tinnitus and he goes to bed with a radio on very low in volume just to stop the ringing that he gets when in total silence, I used to have the sound of a dripping tap in my head until I had a Major operation on my inner ear.
Wilf
10th Aug 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes my father has the same but he is 86 and is too old now for an operation like you had

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