Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that aren’t caused by an outside source. It’s not usually a sign of any serious conditions and generally improves over time. There are treatments that can help.
Check if you have tinnitus
Tinnitus can sound like:
- music or singing
You may hear these sounds in one or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time.
Treatments for tinnitus
If the cause of your tinnitus is unknown or can’t be treated, your GP or specialist may refer you for a type of talking therapy.
This could be:
- tinnitus counselling – to help you learn about your tinnitus and find ways of coping with it
- cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – to change the way you think about your tinnitus and reduce anxiety
- tinnitus retraining therapy – using sound therapy to retrain your brain to tune out and be less aware of the tinnitus
Tinnitus retraining therapy may be available on the NHS for people with severe or persistent tinnitus. It’s widely available privately.
Causes of tinnitus
It’s not always clear what causes tinnitus, but it’s often linked with:
- some form of hearing loss
- Ménière’s disease
- conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders or multiple sclerosis
- anxiety or depression
- taking certain medication – tinnitus can be a side effect of some chemotherapy medicines, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin
Things you can try to ease tinnitus
- have total silence – listening to soft music or sounds (called sound therapy) can distract you from the tinnitus
- focus on it, as this can make it worse – hobbies and activities can help take your mind off it
Lähde: Tinnitus – NHS.UK