It is estimated that around seven million people in the UK have experienced tinnitus at one time or another, and it can affect sleep patterns, concentration and overall quality of life.
People with tinnitus hear a sound in one or both their ears that cannot be linked to any external source. This is sometimes described as a ‘ringing in the ears’, but it can also be a whizzing, roaring, buzzing, hissing or another type of continuous noise. It may be high or low-pitched, and the volume may vary over time.
The onset of tinnitus is often linked to hearing loss or damage to the affected ear(s) through ear infections or diseases, the use of certain drugs, noise exposure, stress, or as part of the natural ageing process.
It is estimated that around seven million people in the UK have experienced tinnitus at one time or another. In some cases, the tinnitus will fade within hours or days. However, in others the tinnitus sound can continue for months or years, affecting sleep patterns, concentration and overall quality of life.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
There are several different treatment options for tinnitus:
The Tinnitus Clinic is the sole UK provider of Acoustic CR® Neuromodulation which targets your specific tinnitus sound using a Neurostimulator device and a set of medical headphones. Extensively tested in Europe, Acoustic CR® Neuromodulation has been shown in a clinical trial and patient studies to significantly reduce the symptoms of tinnitus in 7 out of 10 cases. During the treatment process, your device is programmed with a set of tones that have been calculated specifically to treat your tinnitus. It aims to provide sustainable, long-term relief from your tinnitus.
Environmental sound enrichment increases the amount of background noise around you to reduce the impact of your tinnitus. To achieve this, our audiologists may recommend the use of an ambient sound generator. The purpose of the device is to make your tinnitus less noticeable in quiet environments and to provide stimulation to the auditory system to reduce the invasiveness of your tinnitus.
This is a mixture of tinnitus specific counselling together with sound therapy and relaxation techniques. Customised hearing devices are programmed with a specific acoustic prescription that closely matches the pitch of your tinnitus. TDT is aimed at redirecting your brain’s attention away from the tinnitus signal and thereby enabling the natural habituation process to occur.
You may have noticed that your tinnitus is worse if you are anxious or tired. The Tinnitus Clinic audiologists will teach you relaxation techniques to help reduce the loudness of your tinnitus, and its effects on your stress levels and everyday life. For example our audiologists will train you in breathing and muscle relaxation techniques and give you the skills to introduce this into your daily routine.
As tinnitus becomes more noticeable in a quiet environment, it may affect your sleep patterns: either preventing you from falling asleep or waking you up. Sleep counselling reduces your anxiety about your tinnitus, reduces negative thoughts and lowers stress levels when you are trying to sleep. The counselling process aims to change your attitude to tinnitus, and so improve the quality of your sleep.
The treatment options listed above may not be available at your local Spire hospital.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. After tinnitus treatment, typically our consultants will want to see you after six weeks to see how you are doing.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Bushey Hospital is situated within easy access of the M1 and M25 motorways. We are only 15 miles from London, 45 minutes drive from Luton airport and around five miles from Watford town centre, with its fast and regular train services to the capital.