The lazy days of summer are long gone, but for some reason, there is still the sound of cicadas; all the time! Constant sounds in the ears such as ringing, buzzing or hissing like cicadas can occur gradually over time, or start suddenly for no apparent reason. Tinnitus is the name given to sounds in the ears where no external sound source is present.
According to Steve Foster, NZAS Audiometrist and Managing Director of Hear Again Ltd, this is a common problem. “Studies throughout the world have shown that tinnitus can affect up to 1 in 4 of adults. In the past it has been linked to stress, caffeine intake and even chocolate! However, the most common cause for tinnitus is a hearing loss; even a mild loss can cause it.
The most recent explanation for this is due to neural plasticity in the brain. The brain has the ability to change over time, re-routing signals when required. The best demonstration of this is when a person loses a limb and then later can feel parts of this missing limb itching. The brain reacts to the absent nerve impulses from the missing limb by searching surrounding areas of the brain for stimulus. When this is found, these nerve impulses are re-routed, causing an itch to start.
Even a mild hearing loss can cause a reduction of nerve stimulus from the ears and set the same process in motion. Once there, tinnitus can be very frustrating as it is a sound you cannot escape: affecting you the most when everything is quiet. It is also self-perpetuating, as the more you listen to it, and particularly worry about it, the louder the sounds seem to get.”
Steve advises that the most important first step when you experience tinnitus is to have your hearing tested. “Hear Again offer a FREE no obligation initial hearing assessment which can be at our clinic in the Coast Plaza, Whangaparaoa, or in the comfort of your own home if needed. This allows us to find out if your tinnitus could be a symptom of a hearing loss.
If this shows you need hearing aids, there is no need to worry: they are not the big ugly things of the past, with many being almost invisible in the ears now. Hearing devices can be rechargeable, connected to cell-phones or your TV, and even play soothing sounds to mask out your tinnitus when everything is quiet. We offer a 45 day 100% moneyback satisfaction guarantee on all our hearing aids so you can have absolute peace of mind and nothing to lose… except the cicadas.
Give us a call on 09 424 6035, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hearagain.co.nz
We love the Hibiscus Coast, the beaches, the community feel and the wide variety of things to do and places to go and this isn't diminishing as the Coast grows, although we are finding there are rather too many sets of traffic lights than the old days!