Tinnitus is the perception of noise generated somewhere within the auditory system, that can take many forms. It is very common, affecting up to 1 in 5 people, and can rarely become a severe and disabling problem.

The most important fact to realise is that there are many things that we can do to gain control over tinnitus.

A full medical assessment often involving blood tests, a formal hearing test and scans is an important component of treatment, to exclude the more serious causes of tinnitus.

It is also important to realise that the auditory (hearing) pathways are hard wired to the limbic system (emotion centre) of the brain as well as to areas responsible for the jaw, neck and other areas of the head and neck.

Rarely, primary ear disease, and even more rarely intra-cranial disease, can be responsible. Once these have been excluded a stepwise approach to management is employed.

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