Most people's experience with tinnitus can be a tiring one. People with the condition hear – with a greater or lesser degree of regularity – noises in their ears that are not caused by an outside source. Your ears may ring, hiss, pop or click; in some cases, tinnitus can even sound like music. For someone with tinnitus, the sounds can be distracting, causing issues with concentration and even affecting how well they can sleep.

If you experience tinnitus, then it is not something that you need to simply accept and get along with. An appointment with an audiologist can be precisely what you need, as there are various options that a hearing expert can offer that will help you deal with the noises and start to experience a clarity that has been in short supply previously. Below, we will look at three of the most effective ways an audiologist can help you live with tinnitus.

Hearing aids

There is a connection between tinnitus and hearing loss – those who experience one may experience the other, although it is by no means certain. They do, however, affect the ears in similar ways, interfering with what you hear and how you hear it, and they can be treated in similar ways, too, including with the use of hearing aids.

It is understood that in many cases, tinnitus is a result of sound deprivation, where there are gaps in what a person hears. This may be caused by hearing loss or by other means, but tinnitus is essentially what a person hears in the absence of the ability to hear what is happening externally. The idea behind using hearing aids to remedy this is that the device will give back the hearing that has been impaired and thus stop the tinnitus from being heard.

Sound machines

Many people without any hearing condition use a sound machine to help them sleep at night or to concentrate free from external noise distractions such as distant music. These devices play a stream of white noise, which may be ambient sounds such as a waterfall or a rainforest, or may simply be static noise. Just as they work for people in the above situations, so too for people experiencing tinnitus; the noise removes the room for tinnitus, distracting the ears from hearing it and, in some cases, removes the neurological cause.

Tinnitus retraining therapy

In the case of tinnitus retraining therapy, the goal is not so much to stop the sound being made; rather, it is to train the individual to be able to ignore the noise. In many cases of tinnitus, the biggest problem is how intrusive the person finds the noise to be, but through an exploratory appointment, an audiologist can learn how tinnitus manifests in the individual and when. Following this, by means of devices and psychological therapy, it is then the aim to “train” a person to eliminate any feelings of anxiety or disquiet related to the tinnitus. Once this has been achieved, it is possible to ignore any noises that have been bothering them.