Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a physical condition, experienced as noises or ringing in a person’s ears or head, when no such external physical noise is present. Tinnitus is not a disease in itself. It is a symptom of a fault in a person’s auditory (hearing) system, which includes the ears and the brain. The word ‘tinnitus’ is from the Latin for ‘tinkling or ringing like a bell’.Tinnitus does not have to dramatically affect your quality of life. Try to avoid focusing too much attention on your tinnitus and take steps to manage the condition. Avoid excessive noise, and find relaxation and stress management techniques that work for you. Approximately 17 to 20 per cent of Australians suffer from some degree of tinnitus, varying from mild to severe. The percentage of people who are severely affected is small. It is common for a person’s tinnitus to be affected by stress or tiredness, but this has no harmful significance.

Some of the most common sounds associated with tinnitus are:

  • ringing
  • buzzing
  • whistling
  • roaring
  • humming