What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the name given to the sensation of noises in the head and or ears. It is present when there is no external corresponding source. Patients report that it sounds like high pitched hissing, sizzling, ringing, buzzing, chirping, clicking, rushing, booming, roaring or even a pulsating or thumping sound.
Tinnitus can begin at any age. Although it does not mean that you have hearing loss, many people with hearing loss complain about tinnitus. According to the Tinnitus Association of Canada, there are more than 360,000 Canadians that suffer from this condition. Within that group, 150,000 report that these noises seriously impair their enjoyment of life.
The most common causes of tinnitus are a blow to the head, infection, noise exposure, whiplash injury; any kind of emotional or physical stress, or shock.
Who can help?
An Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon may exam you to detect conditions such as an acoustic neuroma, or otosclerosis, that the presence of tinnitus may suggest.
An Audiologist can test your hearing to determine whether the tinnitus might be eased by a hearing aid, a masker, or a combination of the two. There are a handful of audiologists that are qualified as counselors in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. Doctor of Audiology Bernice A. McKenzie is proud to be one of those audiologists.
For information about tinnitus management, please visit the website for the Tinnitus Practitioners Association.