Individuals with tinnitus report a variety of internal sounds, such as
ringing, whistling, vacuuming, hammering, buzzing and humming noises, perceived
in the ear or head.
For individuals experiencing severe tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus, unilateral tinnitus or any form of reduced sound tolerance, a medical evaluation is crucial. This helps to determine if there is an underlying cause that can be medically or surgically resolved. If tinnitus persists post-intervention, management programmes developed by an audiologist specialising in these conditions can help to reduce its impact and improve quality of life.
After medical evaluation, patients are referred to an audiologist who assesses the specific needs of each individual with tinnitus or reduced sound tolerance. The audiologist conducts a detailed evaluation, including reviewing a comprehensive questionnaire filled out by the patient, to understand their condition and its impact.
The audiologist provides education about condition, its causes, why it can be management strategies. Directive counselling is given to both the patient and their family members to mitigate the impact of the tinnitus or sound intolerance. Family members are encouraged to accompany patients for support and information.
The audiologist may recommend devices and sound delivery systems based on individual needs. These might include hearing aids, tinnitus instruments/combination units, table-top sound generators, MP3 players, CDs, bluetooth streaming devices to hearing aids, pillows with speakers for use during sleep and other devices. The patient is guided on the use and potential benefits of each device, with personalised instructions provided.