Tinnitus - an individual condition
Tinnitus varies considerably in intensity and type. Some people describe tinnitus as high-frequency whistling sounds while others perceive tinnitus as a buzzing noise or a sound similar to butter sizzling in a frying pan.
The most important difference can be found in the extent to which tinnitus is considered a problem by the people it affects. Some people learn to live with the condition quite quickly, and in these cases tinnitus is often perceived as just a buzzing noise in the back of the head. To others, the condition is intolerable and so disturbing that they have to quit their jobs or give up studying.
For many tinnitus sufferers the problem is most noticeable at night. As the din of daily activities subsides, tinnitus becomes more prominent.
Many sufferers also have problems concentrating.
Upsetting noise and upsetting silence
One of the biggest problems mentioned by sufferers is their irritation with the incessant sound in their ears and heads often intensified by varying degrees of hearing loss. This combination often makes it difficult to conduct an ordinary conversation.
Many tinnitus sufferers do not like quiet, as this only amplifies their tinnitus. Others find excessive noise uncomfortable. Again, tinnitus can be perceived in many different ways.
To some tinnitus sufferers, certain high-frequency sounds can be very painful. This condition is also known as hyperacusis.
Common problems among tinnitus patients:
- Sleeping problems
- Hearing problems
- Despair, frustration, depression
- Annoyance, irritation