Tinnitus, tinnitus, tinnitus
Baby from the movie Baby Driver has tinnitus. And he plays music almost 24/7 to drown out the sound. But what is tinnitus, and can music help?
Tinnitus can be a constant ringing, buzzing, hissing or even a roaring sound in the ear. About 30 per cent of the global population will experience tinnitus during their lifetime – and one in ten adults are affected by chronic tinnitus which can have a massive impact on your life. Insomnia, stress, depression and social dysfunction are just some of the common “side-effects”.
“While there is no known cure for tinnitus at present, there are a number of ways that sufferers can minimise its impact,” Danielle Tres, Head of Audiology for Oticon Australia, told Gizmodo Australia.
“In the film Baby Driver, Baby’s method of alleviating the symptoms of tinnitus is not uncommon. Many people find that having something else to focus on, like music or a podcast, can draw their attention away from the tinnitus so that it becomes less noticeable.”
Sound therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and “various relaxation methods” (mindfulness, body scanning, yoga and meditation) are also common.
“Sound therapy is the practice of playing soothing sounds like ocean waves or white noise, to reduce the impact of tinnitus,” Tres explains.
80 per cent of people with hearing loss also suffer from tinnitus, and 80 per cent of those with tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss. So here’s an idea other than an iPod – hearing aids.
“People may be surprised to learn that there are hearing aids available that allow the wearer to play these sounds directly into their ears. The sound generator in the Oticon Opn hearing aid is called Tinnitus SoundSupport. It delivers a variety of sounds, such as those from nature or broadband sounds, used to redirect focus away from tinnitus and make it more manageable in daily life.”
These special hearing aids are only available from professionals, and they also have Bluetooth – so you can stream music, audio books, podcasts – whatever helps.
“Anything that takes the mind off the frustrating sound of tinnitus can be a real help for those suffering from the condition,” Tres says.
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If watching the film raises concerns about your own hearing health, or if you think you have tinnitus, we recommend calling Hearing Innovations Edgecliff on 02 9327 6611 to book an appointment.