What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the word used to describe the experience of noises in the ears or head, which are not generated from any external sound source. Tinnitus is common and it is thought that around 15% of both adults and children hear the sounds for a prolonged period of time. Most people find that their tinnitus is non-intrusive or mildly annoying, but for some people tinnitus can be very distressing.
Fortunately, tinnitus is rarely an indication of a serious physical disorder. Far more often, there is no physical problem or threat, but the experience of the sound can be difficult to manage. For around one in ten people with tinnitus, there is a significant impact on their quality of life
Sometimes there is an easy fix to tinnitus so it is important to have your ears checked for wax and your hearing tested in case there is an underlying pathology that can be remedied. We are happy to provide this at Sussex Audiology Centre.
Very occasionally, tinnitus is a symptom of something that will need further medical investigation and we are able to identify if this is the case for you.
Once underlying treatable pathology has been excluded it is possible to work on an approach that will enable you to start to filter the tinnitus out, as you would any other unimportant sounds – such as the sound of your footsteps or the sound of the fridge in your kitchen. This process is known as ‘habituation’ and is the basis of many tinnitus therapies.
Here at Sussex Audiology we provide tinnitus assessment and advice, including ear check, hearing test and identification of what might be the underlying cause of the tinnitus. We can then work on the formulation of a plan to help you and provide therapy if needed.
We use a cognitive behavioural model of tinnitus therapy based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for which there is a good evidence base and is recommended by the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).
You can read more about Saskia Harden, Hearing Therapist and tinnitus specialist on our ‘About us’ page.
We suggest a session by session treatment programme rather than booking a series of 6 or 8 sessions and can discuss this with you at your assessment appointment. Some people only require one session to find out more about their own tinnitus and to get some advice on how to approach it.
Our hearing therapist is an Audiologist, with and MSc in Audiology from University College London, Ear Institute (awarded 2020), a diploma in Hearing Therapy (City Lit, 2001) and 2 Certificates in ACT accredited by AMEDCO LLC (2020/2021).