Tinnitus is mostly known as ringing sound in the ear.  It may fade in and out a little, but is constant and in severe cases can become very stressful, frustrating and make it difficult to concentrate on - or hear - what's happening in life. But tinnitus can be treated.

Tinnitus noises can range from clicks to crackles and even whistling. One of the most uncomfortable times for sufferers is at night when things quiet down and the sound seems louder. This condition will also mean that general hearing quality is reduced and many sounds may seem distorted.

How is tinnitus caused?

This type of hearing problem is caused by damaged inner ears. This mostly comes from listening to music at high levels or working in a loud environment. Another cause can be due to picking up an infection or a small insect living in the ear.

  • Loud music - whether it's portable players such as iPods or working in environments like night clubs, you can suffer from this problem if the music is too loud or proper ear protection is not worn.
  • Noisy work places - those that work with machinery will also suffer from this problem. Not wearing the correct ear safety equipment is one of the main causes.

How can tinnitus be prevented?

Ringing in the ears can be prevented by wearing ear plugs. There are many different designs that are suited to all kinds of professions. For example a music DJ may use a certain kind that does not block out sounds but simply limited the volume that they are hearing. Construction workers will need more robust plugs that can block out excessive loud noises from machinery used.

What can current sufferers of tinnitus do to help their condition?

The best remedy to this problem is to have hearing aids fitted. Tinnitus cannot be completely cured but it can be managed. Hearing aids work by balancing the sounds of everyday life like conversations and music which causes the constant ringing to be muffled.