Tinnitus, for those who do not suffer with these constant, annoying noises, is a bit of a mystery. Here, my aim is to give you the low down on the condition.
Myth: Tinnitus only affects those with pre-existing hearing loss.
FACT: Whilst Tinnitus does indeed affect those with hearing loss and the two are closely entwined, this isn’t always the case. If you go to a gig and listen to music at a very loud volume you may find yourself with temporary tinnitus immediately after. Some people even develop tinnitus for no known reason. Some of us are just predisposed to developing tinnitus sadly.
Myth: Having Tinnitus means I will go deaf at some point.
FACT: Having Tinnitus and having hearing loss are two separate issues, just because you have one does not necessarily mean you will develop the other. Tinnitus can develop for a number of reasons but does not mean you will go deaf. Seeing an audiologist or Ear Nose Throat specialist will help to find out the cause of your tinnitus.
Myth: Tinnitus is a disease.
FACT: Whilst Tinnitus can be debilitating for the sufferer, it is not a disease but rather a condition or possibly a symptom of some other underlying health condition.
Myth: Tinnitus sounds are the same for all sufferers.
FACT: Tinnitus varies for each individual, in pitch, frequency and ferocity. Some may hear ringing or buzzing in the ear, whilst others hear bells or music. Mine personally varies considerably from day to day – one day it could be a ringing noise and then next, motorbikes.
Myth: Hearing Aids or Cochlear Implants won’t help my tinnitus.
FACT: Actually, hearing aids and cochlear implants are one of the most effective ways of managing tinnitus as you are able to focus on external sounds, thus lessening the importance of the in the ear noises.
Myth: There is no cure for Tinnitus.
FACT: Whilst there is no miracle pill you can take to make tinnitus go away, there are ways you can manage the condition – from sound therapy, relaxation techniques to hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Myth: Certain foods and drinks can aggravate my tinnitus.
FACT: Whilst some drinks, such as coffee, and food have been blamed for exacerbating tinnitus, there is no real scientific backing for this. That said, a healthy and balanced diet never hurt anyone.
Myth: No one else has Tinnitus; I must be odd.
FACT: You are not alone, there are an estimated 5 million people in the UK suffering from some form of tinnitus! Whilst hearing noises in your head may make you think you are odd, it is more common than you think.
Myth: If I had Tinnitus, I would know about it.
FACT: You would think you would be aware of a ringing or buzzing noise in your ear but the fact is, some people have been suffering with very mild tinnitus most of their life and have been completely unaware. For some, it is temporary or comes and goes so they are not always aware of it.