Tinnitus Explained

November 16, 2017
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Tinnitus is a term for hearing sounds that rather than outside of the body, comes from the inside. For many, it manifests as ‘ringing in the ears’. It can also be buzzing, humming, whistling and even hissing. Some can even hear singing or voices for the more serious cases.

So, what are the cause and typical diagnosis or treatment of tinnitus?

Causes

Tinnitus comes as a result of a number of scenarios:

  • Age-related
  • Inner ear damage due to constant loud noise exposure
  • Earwax buildup
  • Middle ear infection
  • Meniere disease causes both hearing loss and vertigo
  • Otosclerosis is a condition with an abnormal bone growth in the ear which causes tinnitus and hearing loss

This condition can both develop gradually over time and occur suddenly, no two cases are the same. The root cause is not known exactly, but it does typically come with some hearing loss.

When to See a GP

You should advise your workers to seek the professional opinion of a GP if they are constantly experiencing noise which is not from an outside source. From there, the GP can potentially refer the sufferer to a dedicated hospital department for further treatment.

Diagnosis

Though many people can experience tinnitus in their life, it is usually only diagnosed as a long-term issue if it goes on for a long period of time. It affects around 6 million people, which is a huge proportion of the population and so it could easily affect your workers.

It can affect people of all ages, including children – though hopefully there are none of them in your workplace in the first place.

Treatment

Currently, there is no single treatment for tinnitus. But, the research is always ongoing.

If the underlying cause of your tinnitus can be found, then you can have effective treatment to treat the root cause. This can have a positive effect on tinnitus. If a cause cannot be found, then managing the tinnitus will be the main focus of any treatment methods. Treatment can include:

  • Sound therapy – neutral sounds can help to distract from the tinnitus ringing.
  • Counselling – therapy may not seem like it would do much, but offering this can help the sufferer to better manage tinnitus and the various side effects.
  • Behavioural Therapy – this type of therapy is aimed at helping you to manage how the sufferer thinks of their tinnitus. Doing so helps them to manage even better.

For workers, tinnitus can be a serious side effect of loud noises in the workplace. Especially in commercial environments where they are exposed constantly.

In an industrial environment, you need an acoustic enclosure in order to protect your employees from serious hearing issues. If you want more information on how acoustic solutions can benefit your business, simply call our experienced team on 0161 764 4004.