FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will my tinnitus get worse?
It is comforting to know that tinnitus almost always gets better over time. We know that people who receive appropriate medical management, accurate information and effective treatment and support have a high chance of long-term recovery.
Will my tinnitus ever go away?
The greatest majority of new tinnitus cases will resolve within 6-12 months of onset. If your tinnitus is more longstanding, it is likely that you will hear it less over time, even if it persists beyond this period.
Will my tinnitus damage my hearing?
People with tinnitus often see it as a first sign of change in their hearing health. Tinnitus is a symptom of hearing change most of the time, and does not cause or worsen your hearing.
Where is the sound coming from?
Tinnitus can originate from anywhere within your auditory system, from the outer ear to the brain (see How We Hear for more details). It is a real signal reaching the brain, rather than something you are imagining, although its origin is inside the body.
Can other people hear my tinnitus?
There are very rare forms of tinnitus that can be heard from your ear canal. These are very soft sounds that others cannot hear unless they are listening at a very close distance or with the help of a microphone and an amplifier.
Am I allowed to fly?
Tinnitus is sometimes accompanied by a sensation of blockage in the ear (aural fullness) that is similar to the sensation we feel at descent on a plane-flight. For most people, this is unaffected by actual changes in air pressure during flying and is unlikely to have an effect on tinnitus. For people who present with middle ear infections, colds and sinus problems, medical clearance may be required before taking a plane flight. Our Audiologists can advise if this is needed after seeing you.
What makes you specialists in tinnitus and hyperacusis?
The tinnitus specialists at Medical Audiology have had years of experience and specialist training in diagnosing and treating tinnitus and other sound tolerance problems. We have been privileged to work with Professor David Baguley, President of the British Tinnitus Association. We have attend multiple international and national conferences and seminars to keep up with the latest in tinnitus research.
Our ongoing collaborations with ENTs, GPs, Psychologists and other medical and allied health professionals gives us a broad network of experts to learn from, refer to and work with on complex cases.
Dr Vesna Maric is the lecturer in tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders at the University of Western Australia Master of Clinical Audiology program. She has made multiple national and international conference presentations on tinnitus treatments.
Preparing for your appointment
Your audiologist will need information about the following:
- Signs and symptoms.
- What type of noises you are hearing?
- Is it in one ear or both ears?
- Do the sounds come and go or are they continuous?
- How loud are the noises?
- Do you have trouble tolerating other sounds from the world because they appear too loud or painful?
- Are you or have you ever been exposed to continual loud noises?
- Medical history, including any health conditions such as hearing loss, high blood pressure, heart disease or blood vessel disease. Please note that numerous other symptoms and health conditions may be relevant.
- Medication history. Some medications may be a contributing factor to your tinnitus.
- General wellbeing, sleep patterns
- Social and emotional support
- Details of other health professionals who are involved in your care
- How your tinnitus affects your daily life
- What makes your tinnitus worse and what makes it better
- What treatments you have had for your tinnitus in the past
You can view and download our tinnitus questionnaire here. This is a starting point. The audiologist will discuss your responses and may ask a lot of additional questions at your appointment.
The following are sounds that you may be hearing that can help our audiologists better understand the type of tinnitus you are experiencing and possible causes;
- Rushing or humming
- Low-pitched ringing
- High-pitched ringing
- Other sounds