If you’ve ever realized that you have a ringing, whirring, clicking or buzzing sound in your ears that you can’t seem to escape from, you could have tinnitus. People experience tinnitus in different ways, some louder than others and some more permanently than others. It’s not just a ringing in the ears, either, not when some can hear a low hum or a high pitched whooshing. Some people even hear white noise instead of an actual sound. Some people who have tinnitus confirmed by their audiologist hear more than one noise and hearing two or three separate sounds is difficult to deal with day to day. Tinnitus can occur in both ears or just one, and it can sound like the noise is inside your head. The diagnosis of tinnitus comes with understanding the signs of it so that when you approach your audiologist, you are armed with as many possible facts that you can give them. Once you know what symptoms you should be looking out for, you can start to manage the symptoms better. So, what should you be looking for when you are concerned that you may be experiencing tinnitus?

  • A ringing sound that you cannot shake off
  • Buzzing or whirring that occurs intermittently no matter what you are listening to.
  • The sound of a roaring ocean – when you’re nowhere near one!
  • A low tone that doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you are doing.

What if it’s severe?

If the tinnitus that you are experiencing is long-standing, you may have something more than the standard buzzing or ringing. There are three categories of long-lasting tinnitus and these are:

  • Hyperacusis: Sensitivity to everyday sounds happens with hyperacusis, which can mean that things like the television being normal in volume can affect you. It’s the result of long exposure to loud noises.
  • Musical hallucination: Extensive hearing loss is the most common cause of this condition, and musical hallucinations occur when you can hear snippets of songs instead of ringing or buzzing. It can be exacerbated by stress or epilepsy or substance misuse.
  • Pulsatile tinnitus: Different from regular tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is where you hear noise that beats in time with your heartbeat. Usually, this is due to blood flow changes in the ear.

Tinnitus can affect your physical and emotional health, and it can also cause social isolation and anxiety. If the symptoms and sounds that you are hearing aren’t disappearing, then you need to seek out the help of an audiologist. This can prevent you from developing depression, anxiety and all measure of illnesses that put stress on your shoulders. An audiologist can perform tests that will diagnose the issue so that you can start exploring ways to suppress the noise that you are hearing.