What is tinnitus?

An introduction to tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common symptom of age-related hearing loss, repeated exposure to loud noise, an ear infection, or earwax build-up. It can often be described as a “ringing” or “buzzing” in the ears. These are sounds that come from inside your body, rather than an outside source.

For some people, tinnitus may come and go, or it may only be a minor irritation. However, in some cases, it can have a serious impact on everyday life, which may lead to difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or connecting with the world around you.


How can tinnitus be treated?

Although tinnitus cannot be cured, it can be managed. If you are experiencing continual or regular sounds such as “ringing”, “buzzing”, or “humming”, and these sounds are affecting your day-to-day life, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. A doctor will be able to examine whether the tinnitus is caused by a condition that is easier to treat, such as an ear infection, or earwax build-up, and if necessary, they will be able to refer you to a hearing care specialist for further tests.

In many cases, tinnitus may be a symptom of hearing loss, so getting your hearing checked is the next step. You can find our free online hearing test here and receive an indication of whether you should see a hearing care specialist.

Can a hearing aid help manage tinnitus?

It is estimated that 90% of people who suffer from tinnitus experience some degree of hearing loss. Fortunately, a hearing aid can often help you manage tinnitus.

In many cases, a hearing care specialist will recommend that you wear hearing aids, such as Philips HearLink, which can help relieve your tinnitus symptoms by giving you more of the sounds of the world around you.