Tinnitus management in Melbourne and Geelong
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is any sound, not present externally, which is heard in one or both ears or in the head. It can be a single or a number of different sounds; however it is most commonly heard as a ringing or hissing (cicada-like) noise. It can develop suddenly or gradually. It may be difficult for those not experiencing tinnitus to understand how challenging it can be.
According to the NSW Tinnitus Association, 18% of the Australian population experience tinnitus. 1% of adults have had tinnitus that severely effects their quality of life. Contrary to popular belief, clients can learn to manage their response to tinnitus effectively over time.
Listen to Noni Hazelhurst on 774 ABC Melbourne, chat with Hearservice about Tinnitus.
What is hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis is an abnormal sensitivity to everyday sound levels or noises, which may co-occur with tinnitus. Potential aggravating factors for tinnitus:
- Very loud noise or silence
- Some medications
- Stress and fatigue
- Alcohol, particularly champagne and red wine; sensitivity will vary.
- Smoking, both tobacco and marijuana.
Most of these will only have a temporary effect on tinnitus. Any changes to your normal lifestyle should be made in conjunction with your medical practitioner to maintain your quality of life and to avoid further stress.
The goal of Tinnitus Management is to facilitate the process of habituation, where attention is rarely given to the tinnitus and it causes minimal distress or effect on lifestyle.
Our Rehabilitation Team provides programs and management strategies including identification of fears related to the tinnitus, management of hearing loss if present, sound therapy, distraction strategies, stress management and relaxation and sleep management.
For people with hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound), the aim is to provide a desensitisation program to increase tolerance to every day sound.
Our Rehabilitation Team runs individual tinnitus management sessions across metropolitan Melbourne at our Hearservice sites. Our team have attended training with internationally recognised leaders in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and the team follows a neurophysiological based model.
Information sheets about tinnitus are available on request.
Appointments are necessary. Before attending your appointment, it is advisable to:
- Discuss your tinnitus with your medical practitioner
- Have your hearing tested. If you have had your hearing tested in the last 6 months please bring your results and any reports you may have.
- Request an interpreter if you need one.