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If you are constantly struggling with a noise in your ears, which are not from an outside source then tinnitus normally comes to mind. The word tinnitus originates from the Latin “tinnire” and in English means “ringing.” Only the person impacted hears the ear noises. Did you know that about 40% of people experience some form of uncomfortable ear noise at least once in their life? We called upon our owner audiologist at Strauss Audiology, Sybrand Strauss to answer a few questions about Tinnitus.

We asked the question of what is tinnitus to understand it better?

Sybrand answered that it is defined as the auditory perception of sounds when no external sound is present. This means that these sounds are generated within the auditory pathway, so that when a person experiences tinnitus, they are essentially hearing the inner working of the ear. Just as one might sometimes hear your heartbeat, which is a sound generated on the inside of the body, so you might perceive the inner working of your ear, which is called tinnitus.

There are many patients that ask Sybrand; how will I know if I have tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be described in various ways and may include a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound within your ear. Therefore, we often distinguish between intermittent and chronic tinnitus. Most people at some point will have experienced intermittent tinnitus which occurs briefly and then subsides. Whilst globally, 10 -15% of adults experience chronic tinnitus, which may be constant.

Sybrand was asked how is tinnitus treated?

There IS something you can do! Have you heard these phrases before? ‘’There is nothing you can do about it” or ‘’You will just have to live with it’’. The good news is that there is something you can do about it. And we at Strauss Audiology can help you! In other words, current treatment options are designed to help alleviate your perception of tinnitus. There are various treatment options available to manage the perception of tinnitus. Remember that many people experience the same sensation and you are not alone. Therefore, the goal the treatment is ultimately to alleviate your perception of it.

Do I need hearing aids when I am diagnosed with Tinnitus?

When you attend a tinnitus consultation at Strauss Audiology, we will conduct a comprehensive hearing test as part of the evaluation. In many cases, the very reason you may perceive tinnitus is because you may have some form of hearing sensitivity loss. In roughly 90% of cases, hearing aids may eliminate the perception of tinnitus and can therefore form part of the treatment plan. In other words, whether you would require hearing aids, is something that we will discuss in detail during the consultation.

The question crosses Sybrand’s desk often where he gets asked – what can I do to prevent Tinnitus?

The answer to this is that the most important thing you can do from this day onwards, is to ensure that you protect your hearing from excessive noise exposure. Therefore, it is best to contact us for a range of custom hearing protection solutions designed to protect your hearing from noise. For example: shooting plugs, motorcycle custom protection, in-ear monitors for musicians, custom protection for sound engineers, custom hearing plugs for sleeping or studying etc. There are many options, we are here to help you!

How often do I need to see an audiologist when I have Tinnitus?

Whenever you experience tinnitus, contact us for an evaluation. Once the diagnosis has been made, and you have been advised with regards to a treatment plan, follow up visits may be scheduled every 3, 6 or 12 months. In conclusion, it is important to test your hearing at least once a year.

Contact us today for an appointment, because we are passionate about improving a person’s quality of life and are ready to help you manage your tinnitus from this point forward. We look forward to welcoming you! 

About Strauss Audiology

Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 11 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.

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