Tinnitus, a hearing loss in one or both ears, is manifested by the continuous or alternative sensation of noise that is not attributable to the environment. It is often described as a ringing, buzzing or tingling. Some forms of tinnitus originate from a disease or hearing trauma. Treatment should not be postponed, because tinnitus can be a symptom of overall hearing loss that more or less important.
The symptoms described by those with tinnitus may or may not include:
- loss or decrease in hearing;
- a greater or lesser sensitivity to high intensity noise, called hyperacusis.
Symptoms most often felt in the ear or head, are described by patients as:
- clicking sounds.
A consultation with an audiologist can help determine what type of tinnitus a patient has. If the doctor perceives the disorder, for example, as a result of movement of the ear muscles, it is objective tinnitus: the cause may be endocrine, or relative to a disease of the ear. However, when the patient is the only one to perceive the tinnitus, it is considered to be subjective: its cause is more difficult to determine.
Treating the cause of an objective tinnitus will make it go away. As to subjective tinnitus, the choice of treatment is more difficult. It is based mostly on psychotherapy and relaxation sessions. Healing is not always radical. Doctors may also prescribe:
- anxiolytics or antidepressants;
- Habituating Acoustics Therapy that allows us to learn to endure noise.
Prevention helps to protect from subjective tinnitus, avoiding an early-age noise exposure which can be considered to be veritable acoustic traumas. Similarly, the use of the sound on a music player should be limited. To avoid noise disturbance, wearing hearing protection is strongly recommended. In a professional environment, legislation already requires such prevention.