Tinnitus symptoms can range from mild to insufferable and can arise very quickly with little warning. People who experience tinnitus have described it as a remorseless buzzing, ringing, clicking, whistling or other similar sounds. The symptoms are then often accompanied by hearing loss. Australian Health Direct stated that about 2 in 3 people in Australia suffer from tinnitus at some point in their life, and about 1 in 10 have tinnitus that harshly affects their quality of life.
People who experience tinnitus may need to visit their GP to rule out any underlying conditions that could be potentially causing the tinnitus symptoms, such as an earwax blockage or side effects from medication. The GP then may make a referral to a further professional such as an audiologist for an additional diagnosis. Hearing aids have been shown to be the most effective solution for most people with tinnitus. As there is unfortunately no “cure” for tinnitus, there is however a number of treatments that may help victims cope with the symptoms. These include: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM), tinnitus masking devices and hearing aids to treat underlying hearing loss. Through hearing aids and other devices, audiologists should offer assessments, provide basic intervention for tinnitus and the provision of accurate tinnitus-care information/referrals for tinnitus-related services.
Furthermore, there are numerous new tinnitus apps accessible by smartphone that offer sound therapies to help ease and lighten tinnitus symptoms. These include apps such as: Diapason, Tinnibot, Pure Tinnitus Group Coaching and Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT). These apps are all created by professionals to aim to provide behavioural-based, evidence-based management techniques and tools for surviving tinnitus.