Types of Tinnitus.
There tends to be two types of tinnitus, this includes subjective and objective tinnitus:
Subjective tinnitus is tinnitus that only you can hear, it is the most common type of tinnitus and it can be caused by ear problems in your outer, middle or inner ear. Tinnitus can also be caused by problems from the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound and auditory pathways.
Objective tinnitus is tinnitus that a doctor or specialist will also be able to hear when they provide an examination. It’s a rare type of tinnitus that can be caused by a blood vessel problem, a middle ear bone condition or muscle contractions.
What Causes Tinnitus?
While we can define the exact answer to the main cause of tinnitus, we do know that it is not a disease or an illness. It tends to be agreed that tinnitus will result from some type of change, either mental or physical, and isn’t necessarily related to hearing. When we hear, the sound travels into the ear and then our hearing nerves take the signals to the brain. The brain will then be responsible for putting it all together and making sense of the sound, because the ears don’t know exactly what is important and what’s not important, they will send a lot of information to the brain. Sometimes this can be too much information for us to process, so the brain will filter out a lot of unnecessary ‘activity’ and background sound, this includes things like clocks ticking or traffic noise.
Should there be a change in the system, like hearing loss or ear infection, the amount of information being sent to the brain will change, the brain will then responds to this change in levels and try to get more information from the ear, and the extra information you may get is the sound we is called tinnitus. Tinnitus is therefore actually in the brain and concerned with brain activity and not actually in the ear itself. It is generally accepted that it isn’t only a change in the ear that can result in tinnitus, but it can also be due to a change in stress levels, whether its a period of significant stress, a change in life circumstances or general wellbeing.
People tend to say that they are aware of noises in the ears when they have a cold, an ear infection or wax blocking the ear. In some cases people become aware of tinnitus following a really stressful event and once they have become aware of it, they may notice it more and more, but this will usually fade once all of these things have passed. Some people continue to notice the tinnitus and also after an infection has cleared up, luckily, tinnitus is rarely an indication of a serious disorder and a specialist will be able to check this for you. If you think that you are experiencing tinnitus, contact Peter Byrom and book an appointment at his tinnitus clinic today.
I think that I have Tinnitus, what should I do?
The first person to talk to is your Audiologist, Peter Byrom provides a full tinnitus clinic and is a professional Audiologist, with a wealth of experience in Audiology. He will aim to rule out any medical factors, assess your hearing and give you some information and advice about what tinnitus is and the best way for you to manage it. He can be on hand to provide you with any support or guidance that you may need.
We recommend that one of the most important things to do is to keep doing the things that you love and enjoy. If you start living your life differently to account for the tinnitus, it’s just going to become more of a problem, while you may need to do things differently, it’s important that you and your wellbeing is taken care of.
Will the Tinnitus improve?
When you first experience tinnitus and its effects, you may naturally be worried and also very aware of this new sound. As humans we constantly monitor our bodies and if anything changes, we become aware of the changes, hearing tinnitus for the first time can be quite frightening and you may think it means that something is wrong with you, or that it might change your life. There’s no need to worry though, while it is a new sensation, you will need to give yourself time to adapt to it.
The majority of people find that their tinnitus does seem to settle down after they first experience it, even without doing anything in particular. Initially, it may seem to be really loud but then after a while, you may stop noticing it as much. Tinnitus can be much the same, it can also be more noticeable but you will gradually notice it less than you did the first time and so on.