To manage Tinnitus successfully a full investigation into cause and effect is important. A Tinnitus Assessment includes:
Full History taking
Subjective Tinnitus measurements (Pitch-matching, Loudness etc)
Tinnitus Information and advice on management options
Tinnitus can be described as the perception of sound such as ringing, buzzing, whooshing, whistling or a musical hallucination either in one or both ears or in the head in the absence of any external sounds.
Tinnitus can have many causes including natural hearing impairment, certain medications and most commonly noise-induced hearing loss. It is not a disease but can be a symptom of a range of underlying causes including ear infections, foreign objects, wax and fluid built up in the ear.
Tinnitus can also be associated with other hearing problems such as hyperacusis which is an over-sensitivity to certain frequencies of sound. Pulsatile and/or unilateral (one-sided) Tinnitus should always be further investigated. Stress can exacerbate Tinnitus.
It is important that clients with troublesome Tinnitus receive reassurance and encouragement in the early stages, as well as information to aid understanding.
Understanding Tinnitus [Tinnitus is often made worse by worrying about what it is and what it means]
Talking Therapy [Tinnitus is often made worse by higher levels of stress. Talking therapies can help by reducing stress]
Sound Therapy [Sound enrichment devices]
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Mindfulness
Sound Generators [White noise generators/Maskers]
Some of the above management options will be offered by fellow therapists when appropriate.
The Cork Deaf Association hosts Tinnitus support groups throughout the year https://www.corkdeaf.ie/what-is-tinnitus/