Groupe Forget - Polyclinique de l'Oreille


Are you suffering from tinnitus? If you hear sounds like a beating heart, a whistling kettle, a singing cricket or all of these sounds simultaneously without any external sound stimuli, you may be suffering from tinnitus. This situation affects thousands of Quebeckers.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus isn’t a sickness. Just like fever is a symptom of an infection, tinnitus is a symptom of a change in the auditory system.

It is a sound heard in your head or in one or both of your ears without the presence of an external sound source. This sound can be continuous, intermittent or occasional. It affects both men and women, at a rate of 10 to 15% of the population. Among these, 0.5% have tinnitus that severely affects their daily life, 90% also have hearing loss and 80% do not experience any repercussions in their daily life.

What are the causes?

Many things can cause tinnitus. It may be related to continuous exposure to loud noise, the condition of the ears, stress, head or neck problems, cardiovascular problems, lifestyle (such as diet or taking medication) or allergies. Of all these cases, the most common cause is the state of the ear itself.

The consequences of tinnitus

The impact of tinnitus on the quality of life of those who suffer from it are numerous and serious. Sufferers may experience difficulties concentrating, sleep problems, anxiety or depression.

Are there treatments?

Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are strategies to help people manage this situation, focused on four different areas: psychological management, sound management, medical management and somatic (physical) management. These programs often provide excellent results.

For help, or if you want to know more about tinnitus

» Make an appointment with an audiologist.