A noise in the ears can happen to anyone but can be maddening when it comes and doesn’t improve.
As people age and hearing worsens some will unfortunately experience a sound in the ears which becomes more frequent and sometimes constant. We call this tinnitus.
Tinnitus is defined as:
'The conscious experience of a sound that originates in the head or neck, and without voluntary origin obvious to that person'.
A third of all adults report having had tinnitus at some time and nearly 5% describe troublesome and annoying tinnitus that can affect their ability to get to sleep There are various reasons why tinnitus occurs and depending upon the cause it may be improved by hearing aids, medications, surgery or other therapies.
Tinnitus is divided into pulsatile and non-pulsatile, bilateral or unilateral, constant or intermittent. It is graded depending upon the effect it is having on the patient’s life. In severe cases it can cause depression and suicide.
In the majority of sufferers however tinnitus is termed ‘benign’, meaning it is not caused by disease which is likely to cause significant harm. In many cases of mild benign tinnitus reassurance is sufficient to allay anxieties. In more severe cases treatment is required.
Management starts with a consultation at which the ears are examined. Depending upon the patients history and examination findings, it may also be necessary to examine the Eustachian tubes ( tubes connecting the throat and ears). It is always necessary to perform a hearing test and pressure test ( audiogram and tympanogram). Following this a treatment plan is offered.
Tinnitus is a symptom rather than a disease and can therefore be associated with many different conditions. Identifying the underlying cause where possible and excluding significant disease is required before effective treatment can be given.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Mr Banerjee to look into this condition further please contact us.