Have you been hearing ringing in your ears? Many people may experience this phantom sound after loud events such as concerts, but if it seems to be persisting, there is a good chance that you may have tinnitus.
A condition that can affect people from all walks of life at any age, tinnitus has the potential to cause considerable distress if it is not addressed. When hearing loss is left untreated, it's likely to worsen, so there is no better time than now to get your hearing sorted.
Here's what you need to know.
How many people have tinnitus around the world?
There is no strict figure as to the amount of people who live with tinnitus worldwide, but the estimate is in the millions. According to the Journal of Clinical Nursing, as many as one in seven people will experience tinnitus in some way throughout their life1. This includes everyone from veterans to club-goers who find they have temporary tinnitus after a loud night of music.
Here in Australia, the Victoria government's Better Health Channel reports that the figures are around 17-20 per cent of the population2.
Can anything be done to alleviate tinnitus?
There are a variety of methods that can be used to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, from meditation to mindfulness. There is also help in the form of tinnitus-specific hearing aids, available from your local AudioClinic.
"Most patients are told that nothing can be done, making them feel hopeless and enhancing the effect the condition has on them," said Mr Nigel Padgham, an ear, nose and throat surgery specialist.
"Steps can be taken to treat or alleviate tinnitus in many cases, including medication, surgery, hearing aids to amplify external sounds and mask the tinnitus or distraction techniques, such as TV and radio."
If you have been hearing ringing in your ears that just doesn't seem to go away, it may be time to consult an audiologist. Click here to request a no cost* hearing test or talk to an AudioClinic Clinician on 1800 646 168
1Wiley, More action is needed to support millions of tinnitus sufferers worldwide. Accessed October, 2016.
2Better Health Channel, Tinnitus. Accessed October, 2016.