Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, is a condition often associated with noise damage. Although other causes do exist – such as side effects from certain medication – in the majority of cases the cause of the ringing can be traced back to time spent working in a noisy environment, often many years in the past and long before the tinnitus became noticeable.
Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant. It tends to be worse at night when it is quiet. It can be very distressing leading to sleepless nights, irritability and depression. Tinnitus can make hearing even more difficult as the noises can mask sound. Compensation payments are therefore a lot greater if there is a combined hearing loss and tinnitus.
Over the years various treatments have been proposed and tried to treat tinnitus with varying degrees of success including medication, therapy, surgery and the use of various aids such as white noise meters designed to cancel out the ringing.
Many thousands of workers have been employed in excessive levels of noise in various industries such as construction, engineering, textile or mining industries but there are many other industries which expose or have exposed their employees to excessive levels of noise.
If you’ve been exposed to excessive levels of noise in your employment which may have damaged your hearing, Contact Us now as you may be entitled to make a hearing loss claim.
For most people, tinnitus is not a serious problem, but more a nuisance which eventually rights itself. However, for some people, the underlying condition which has caused the tinnitus is more severe and tinnitus can become a permanent problem.
A new survey published by Deafness Research UK demonstrates that 20% of tinnitus sufferers believe that their noisy working environment was the single most important factor for them in developing tinnitus.
In most cases of tinnitus there is no known cure. If you have the condition as a result of the build-up of ear wax then ear drops or ear irrigation are usually recommended. You should always seek medical attention if you have any symptoms as straining your hearing can exacerbate tinnitus.
Common treatments aim to handle the symptoms of tinnitus on a day-to-day basis and include the following:
- Sound Therapy – this involves filling quiet environments with indistinct repetitive sounds to detract attention away from the sound of tinnitus.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – the notion of this therapy is based on the idea that people can change the focus of their behaviour through their thoughts.
- Tinnitus counselling – a talking therapy usually administered by audiologists, it is designed to help suffers understand the condition and learn how to cope with the impact of tinnitus.