You have a ringing, roaring sound in your ears that no one else can hear. In short, you have tinnitus. Putting a name to the condition is one thing, but you want to know if the tinnitus can be cured or are you stuck with it for life? Indeed, what can be done?

Here are our most FAQs about tinnitus.

1. What causes tinnitus?

For the vast majority of people tinnitus is a spontaneously occurring condition. Although there are recognized triggers, such as exposure to excessively loud noise, for most of us that ringing starts for no reason. However that said, a few people do have tinnitus as a result of a treatable condition, such as excess earwax or high blood pressure.

2. Should you see a hearing care professional?

Yes! Although tinnitus most often is just “one of those things,” for some people ill health can bring on the condition. Think of this as a symptom of an issue that could be a valuable early warning sign. Always get checked out by your doctor if you are experiencing tinnitus for the first time. You never know, if you do have an underlying problem then the doctor may be able to resolve the tinnitus by treating this initiating disease.

3. Should you have a hearing test?

Yes! It’s not uncommon to suffer mild hearing loss in addition to tinnitus. Without the distraction of sounds external to the ear, this amplifies how much you notice the tinnitus and makes it more intrusive. Diagnosing the hearing loss and wearing a hearing device can greatly reduce how aware you are of the tinnitus, and improve your quality of life on both fronts.

4. Are there treatments available for tinnitus?

While tinnitus isn’t necessarily curable, there are a number of treatment and relief options available to ease the discomfort. Additionally, around two-thirds of those who develop spontaneous tinnitus will find that after a period of time it resolves of its own accord. In addition, if you an underlying health problem are detected, this can be a means to treat the tinnitus.

5. How can I sleep better with tinnitus?

The buzzing of tinnitus is often most noticeable against a backdrop of silence, such as at night. This can make it difficult to get to sleep as the constant ringing is like the buzzing of an ever-present alarm clock that interrupts your rest. However, there are strategies you can put in place to aid a good night’s sleep.

On a practical point, try distracting yourself from the tinnitus by playing a low level noise as ambient noise in the background. You may chose soothing classical music or a specially created anti-tinnitus CD. The idea is to provide a pleasant sound for you to focus on instead of the whining in your head, thereby allowing you to drift off.

If you are suffering from tinnitus or think you might be, it’s important to speak with a qualified hearing care professional. Tinnitus doesn’t have to control your life; schedule an appointment with a hearing health specialist in your area today!