Are you suffering from tinnitus? If you hear sounds like a beating heart, a kettle that whistles, a cricket that sings or all of these sounds simultaneously without any external sound stimuli, you may be suffering from tinnitus. It is a situation that affects thousands of Quebeckers.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a sound heard in your head or in one or two of your ears without any external sound source. This sound can be continuous, intermittent or occasional. It affects both men and women and between 10 to 15% of the population.
What are the causes?
Many things can cause tinnitus. It may be related to continuous exposure to loud noise, to the condition of ears, to stress, to head or neck health problems, to cardiovascular problems, to your lifestyle, such as diet or taking medication, or to allergies. Of all these cases, the one connected to the ear condition is the most common.
What are the consequences?
The impact of tinnitus on the quality of life of those who suffer from it are numerous and serious. There may be difficulties to concentrate, sleep problems, anxiety or depression.
Are there treatments?
Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are strategies to help people manage it and they often provide excellent results. To get help and for more details about this subject, see our section “Tinnitus evaluation” or contact an audiologist today.
By Claudia Giguère and Tara Simpson, audiologists, Polyclinique de l’Oreille