Have you ever come out of a loud concert or disco with ringing in your ears? If so, you know what it is like to experience tinnitus and you are in good company! Chris Martin, Sting, William Shatner and Pete Townsend are all said to experience tinnitus related to their noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Many people who are only exposed to loud noise occasionally find that the ringing stops after a day or so. For others the buzzing, whistling or ringing may become part of every day life. It’s then difficult to decide which is worse, the hearing loss or the ringing.
People with normal hearing are also liable to experience tinnitus but generally find it easier to filter the sound out.
Nikki Stephens is a qualified provider of Hearing Therapy working with people who have hearing loss, balance, and tinnitus. “Tinnitus can be annoying and some people find it really debilitating living with it day to day and it can even affect their sleep patterns” Nikki said. “I have worked with patients with tinnitus for more than 20 years and am confident I can help almost anyone reduce the awareness and change their perception of the noises they hear in their head.”
It is caused by a naturally occurring sound in our brain that can be misinterpreted as a danger signal. The cycle of stress which some people experience can be difficult to break.
Nikki uses a combination of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), stress management techniques and breathing exercises to make significant improvement in the awareness of the tinnitus sounds. Understanding how the sounds are generated and perceived makes a big difference to many people. Some lifestyle changes can also help. Everyone is different so a full and detailed assessment is vital. It’s a good idea to visit a GP first to have an audiogram to check your hearing.