What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound (ringing, humming, buzzing) within one or both ears or in the head when no external sound present.  Tinnitus is a symptom not a disease and it is often associated with risk factors such as hearing loss, advancing age, noise exposure, head injury, foreign object in the ear and certain medications.

How prevalent is tinnitus?

According to the Tinnitus Association of Canada as many as 360,000 Canadians suffer from annoying tinnitus. 150,000 Canadians experience a degree of tinnitus that significantly affects their quality of life.

What treatment is available for tinnitus?

Anyone with tinnitus should have a complete audiological evaluation by a qualified audiologist and a referral to an otolaryngologist may be recommended for a medical opinion.  Once it has been determined that the tinnitus is not due to a medical issue often tinnitus can be managed with a variety of treatment options, such as tinnitus masking, which may provide some relief.  Many hearing aids currently on the market combine amplification and a masking noise to help people who suffer with tinnitus.

What are the medications, herbs and chemicals associated with tinnitus?

Currently there are at least 450 prescribed and over-the-counter drugs that site tinnitus as a side effect, including: antibiotics, painkillers, cancer drugs (Bauman, 2009)

Please refer to the following link for a detailed list –  http://www.hearinglosshelp.com/articles/pdf/TinnitusDrugList2013.pdf

Do children experience tinnitus?

Unfortunately there has been an increase in the prevalence of hearing loss in children since 1994 and in turn an increase in reported tinnitus.  Limited research suggests that tinnitus is as common in children as it is in adults (Shargorodskyet al, 2010; Kentish, 2010). Interestingly children appear to cope better with their tinnitus because they often assume the noises that they hear are normal and as such don’t complain.


Click the link below to read an article by Dr. Phillip Wade, DDS, MD, FRCS(C)