Tinnitus is the perception of sounds or noises in the ear without there being any external sound. These sounds can take variety of forms such as ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming; can be heard in one ear, both or somewhere in the head and tinnitus can also change over time. For some people tinnitus can come and go (intermittent) and for others it is there all the time. Tinnitus affects people in different ways and for some it can be quite distressing as well as make it difficult to carry out daily activities such as listening or sleeping.
Whilst there is not one exact known cause for tinnitus there may be factors that affect the condition. Common factors are:
- Caffeine intake
- Lack of sleep
- Excessive noise
There is also not one known cure for tinnitus and for many people it is a combination of management strategies to support living a life with tinnitus. Many people find that tinnitus settles with time as they get used to the experience of the sound. Certain therapies such as relaxation, sound enrichment, support groups, mindfulness and tinnitus retraining therapy can be beneficial in managing tinnitus and its symptoms.