Tinnitus is the perception of noises or ringing in the ears.


Tinnitus can sound different to different people and is most commonly reported as a ringing in the ears. However, other types of perceived sounds can be buzzing, whistling, humming, hissing or grinding sounds.

Some people find they notice their tinnitus at night while trying to sleep or when in quiet places. Other people find when they are tired or stressed the sound of their tinnitus increases.


Although it's a common condition, tinnitus still isn't fully understood. Possible causes could be a number of things including:


To get a better understanding of the severity of your tinnitus, your Audiology Professional will ask you some questions about your tinnitus such as:

  • Is the sound you're hearing in both ears? If so, is it equally loud in both ears?
  • Has it recently changed in nature?
  • Is the sound constantly there or does it come and go?
  • Is the volume constant or does it fluctuate?
  • Do you also notice problems with your hearing?
  • Does the sound make you feel anxious or stop you sleeping?
  • Does it drown out conversation or make it difficult for you to concentrate on what is said to you?

Treatment and prevention

There is no single cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments that can help.

The first step is to try to eliminate the cause of your tinnitus. If tinnitus is a side effect of a medical condition, like an ear infection, then treating that condition can get rid of the tinnitus. Your Audiology Professional may need to refer you to a medical professional in these cases.

If your tinnitus is not caused by a medical condition, there are options that can help you manage the symptoms. For example, many people find it helpful to use background noises, like music or television, to take prominence away from the sound of their tinnitus. Often people with hearing loss and tinnitus find being fitted with hearing aids also helps their tinnitus. Some hearing aids also have special tinnitus programs which produce sounds that help to mask it.

If it's affecting your everyday life and causing you stress, there are counselling and therapy services that can help you learn how to cope with it more effectively.


We've partnered with MindEar, a virtual companion that offers tinnitus support. If you’ve noticed signs of tinnitus and want to find out more about how to manage it, book a free 15-minute Hearing Check.

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If further testing is required or if you enter into a MindEar subscription, a fee may apply