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New online tool can help you identify the different types of tinnitus

PUBLISHED: 09:01 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:01 04 September 2018

Between six and eight million people in the UK suffer from tinnitus

Between six and eight million people in the UK suffer from tinnitus

Archant

Tinnitus sufferers are being invited to use a new online, sound matching tool to help better understand their type of tinnitus and the potential treatments available to them.

Mark Williams conducts a hearing examination at The Tinnitus ClinicMark Williams conducts a hearing examination at The Tinnitus Clinic

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing noises in your ears or head when there is no external cause, it is often described as ‘a ringing in the ears’, but everyones experience can differ.

Up to eight million people in the UK suffer from tinnitus and this number is increasing as the population ages and younger people are exposed to loud noise through excessive earphone use and recreational noise such as live music shows and festivals.

As a result of the condition, sufferers can experience debilitating depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation, often increasing the risk of suicide when combined with other factors.

The Tinnitus Clinic is one of only two independent audiology services in the country that is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and helps hundreds of patients every year with a range of hearing health services and now they have developed a new easy to use tool to help people learn more about tinnitus.

The 'What does tinnitus sound like?’ toolThe 'What does tinnitus sound like?’ tool

I think I may have tinnitus, how can I find out more?

Chief Audiologist at The Tinnitus Clinic, Mark Williams, said: “Whether it’s a whistle, constant hiss, low-frequency buzz or high-pitched ringing, the sounds caused by tinnitus are all in our heads, a lot of the time it is our brains trying to create sound to compensate for the gaps in our hearing’’.

To help potential sufferers identify if they have the condition, The Tinnitus Clinic have launched the ‘What does tinnitus sound like?’ tool which lets sufferers choose the sound closest to what they hear and then explains what range of treatments could be best suited to them.

“The biggest problem our patients often encounter is describing the noise they are hearing to us. This new tool offers sufferers the opportunity to select the noise closest to what they’re hearing and then goes onto explain some of the potential treatment options which might be able to help them or allow them to research this further themselves’’.

Mark believes this simple tool will not only help sufferers make the first step in finding a solution to their problem, but give the general public a better understanding of tinnitus. “Even the fact that other people will be able to listen to the sounds and get an insight into what tinnitus sounds like for those who live with it can be a relief for sufferers’’.

Once I have identified the noise I hear, what can I do?

Based on extensive research undertaken by some of the leading institutions in the field, the online console features some of the more common sounds experienced by people suffering with tinnitus.

It should not be a cause for concern if you don’t recognise any of the sounds on the dashboard as the one you are hearing, as only 40-50% of sufferers will recognise the sounds that are featured.

“No two people’s experience of tinnitus is the same, tinnitus is personal to the individual, so each patient therefore needs a personal service’’, added Mark.

While tinnitus is a condition that can’t be cured, this does not mean that it cannot be treated. Most treatments utilise a very delicately targeted sound therapy method that is delivered either during the day or night time with the goal of reducing over-activity within the central auditory system. This is achieved by targeting the pitch of the tinnitus perception.

To take the first step in finding relief from the symptoms of tinnitus, go to the online test and listen to the sounds on the easy to use dashboard.

For further information, call The Tinnitus Clinic on 0800 030 6617, visit www.thetinnitusclinic.co.uk or e-mail info@thetinnitusclinic.co.uk

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