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Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that are not caused by an outside source.

The main symptom of tinnitus is hearing a noise, such as ringing or buzzing, that is not caused by an outside source.

Trying to stay relaxed and distracting yourself from the sounds you hear can help with tinnitus. Talking therapies may help if this does not work.

It's not always clear what causes tinnitus. It's often linked with hearing loss, other conditions like Ménière's disease, anxiety or depression.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of tinnitus is hearing a noise, such as ringing or buzzing, that is not caused by an outside source.

Check if you have tinnitus

Tinnitus can sound like:

You may hear these sounds in 1 or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time.

Read more on the NHS website.

Trying to stay relaxed and distracting yourself from the sounds you hear can help with tinnitus. Talking therapies may help if this does not work.

Self-care


Do

  • try to relax – deep breathing or yoga may help
  • try to find ways to improve your sleep, such as sticking to a bedtime routine or cutting down on caffeine
  • join a support group – talking to other people with tinnitus may help you cope

Don't

  • do not have total silence – listening to soft music or sounds (called sound therapy) can distract you from the tinnitus
  • do not focus on it, as this can make it worse – hobbies and activities can help take your mind off it

Medical treatments

If the cause of your tinnitus is unknown or cannot be treated, your GP or specialist may refer you for a type of talking therapy.

This could be:

  • tinnitus counselling – to help you learn about your tinnitus and find ways of coping with it
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – to change the way you think about your tinnitus and reduce anxiety
  • tinnitus retraining therapy – using sound therapy to retrain your brain to tune out and be less aware of the tinnitus

Tinnitus retraining therapy may be available on the NHS for people with severe or persistent tinnitus. It's widely available privately.

Read more on the NHS website.

It's not always clear what causes tinnitus. It's often linked with hearing loss, other conditions like Ménière's disease, anxiety or depression.

Read more on the NHS website.