Is Tinnitus a Ghost Sound ?

In collaboration with Marilène Roy, Audiologist

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a sound that does not come from outside the ear and is not heard by other people. It can be permanent or only occasional, and can be heard in one ear or both. The sound may resemble bells ringing, bees buzzing, the sound of waves or pulsing, or it may sound like ringing, whistling, whooshing, creaking or even rumbling.

 

 

 

 

You may be at risk for tinnitus if:

  • You are over 60.
  • You work in a very loud environment (e.g. construction worker, musician).
  • You hunt, shoot or attend rock concerts.
  • You have vascular problems.
  • You have health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, high uric acid, or oestro-progestagen or thyroid disorders.
  • You are taking medications or antibiotics that are harmful to the ears.
  • You suffer from stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Consuming large amounts of caffeine, alcohol, drugs or spicy foods may also cause tinnitus.

Unfortunately, the exact causes of tinnitus are still not fully understood. We know that it is not an illness, but rather a disturbing symptom.

How to manage and control the discomfort of tinnitus

  • One way to lessen the annoyance of tinnitus is through sound or camouflage therapy, which fills the environment with a different sound, such as music or a fan, to reduce the contrast between silence and the sound caused by tinnitus.
  • Practise relaxation techniques (e.g. think positively, breathe deeply, visualize).
  • Consult and audiologist who will monitor you and show you how to do various techniques.