Tinnitus Treatment

About a quarter of the Australian workforce suffers from tinnitus – a consistent ringing in the ears. It’s more than just an inconvenience. Tinnitus can make everyday life difficult, but we have good news – transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been proven to help. Get in touch with us if you’re looking for a tinnitus treatment that works!

Medicare  & DVA covered*
No out-of-pocket fees**
Non-invasive treatment

* No-out-of-pocket fees for Medicare patients who meet the Depression eligibility criteria.
** Read more about the cost of TMS and Medicare coverage

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound in one or both of your ears when no real sound is present. It’s a common condition that can vary in intensity. It may present as ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, or a whooshing sound, and it can be constant or intermittent.

What is Causing My Tinnitus?

  • Damage to the Inner Ear: This is the most common cause, often due to ageing or exposure to loud noise. The damage affects the hair cells in the cochlea, leading to abnormal signals that the brain interprets as sound.
  • Earwax Blockage or Ear Infections: These conditions can temporarily impact your hearing and cause tinnitus.
  • Medical Conditions: High blood pressure, head or neck injuries, circulatory problems, and certain chronic diseases (diabetes, thyroid disorders) have been linked to tinnitus.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause or worsen tinnitus as a side effect.

Risk Factors Associated with Tinnitus

  • Age: The risk of developing tinnitus increases with age, especially after 60.
  • Noise Exposure: Prolonged or intense noise is a leading cause.
  • Hearing Loss: When the inner ear is damaged, hearing loss and tinnitus may occur at the same time.
  • Medications: Certain drugs can trigger or exacerbate tinnitus.
  • Other Factors: Stress, lack of sleep, and certain tumours can increase your chances of developing tinnitus.

What are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?

what are the symptoms of tinnitus
symptoms of tinnitus

Common tinnitus symptoms include:

  • Ringing: The most common description of tinnitus is ringing in the ears
  • Buzzing: A continuous, low-pitched sound like an electrical hum
  • Roaring: A louder, deeper sound comparable to the ocean or heavy machinery
  • Clicking or Popping: Brief, sharp sounds that can be intermittent
  • Hissing: A high-pitched sound similar to escaping air or static

Less common symptoms include hearing snippets of music, a rhythmic pulsing sound or throbbing that matches your heartbeat (aka, pulsatile tinnitus), a varied range of sounds, or noise that changes in pitch or volume over time.

How Does Tinnitus Affect Daily Life?

People with tinnitus report various effects on daily life. Some of these effects include:

Poor Sleep

Having a constant noise in your ears can make it harder to fall asleep. This can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and numerous health issues.

Difficulty Concentrating

Sound in your ears can be distracting. The constant noise can make it difficult to focus on your work, conversations, or daily tasks.

Low Mood

Tinnitus can cause irritation, anxiety, and even depression. Being unable to hear properly and unable to get rid of the sound can be highly frustrating.

Trouble Communicating

Tinnitus can make it harder to hear what’s going on around you. You may find hearing or understanding others challenging, especially in noisy places like coffee shops or shopping centres. This can contribute significantly to anxiety and depression.

Loss of Quality of Life

Add up all the effects of tinnitus, and it’s easy to become socially isolated. This can lead to neglecting hobbies, disconnecting from friends, and losing enjoyment of life.

How is Tinnitus Diagnosed?

how is tinnitus diagnosed
tinnitus and how is it diagnosed

A diagnosis of tinnitus is based on your description of symptoms and a medical history review. To identify potential underlying causes, your doctor may perform:

  • Hearing Exam: Measuring your hearing can help your doctor understand if hearing loss is part of the cause.
  • Movement: You may be asked to move your eyes, jaw, neck, arms, or legs to see if the sound changes, which can help identify the cause.
  • Imaging Tests: If your doctor suspects a structural problem, they might recommend a CT or MRI scan.
  • Lab Tests: Blood tests can check for underlying conditions like anaemia, thyroid problems, or vitamin deficiencies, which can contribute to tinnitus.

If the cause of tinnitus is still unclear at this point, your doctor may refer you to specialists like an otolaryngologist (ENT) or an audiologist for further evaluation and treatment.

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Common Treatments for Tinnitus

While there’s no cure for tinnitus, various treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s important to consult with a doctor or audiologist to determine the cause of your tinnitus and develop a personalised treatment plan.

Sound Therapy

White noise machines and wearable masking devices can cover up the sound in your ears and make tinnitus less noticeable. This isn’t a tinnitus cure, but rather a way of managing the condition.

Hearing Aids

If you experience tinnitus as a side effect of hearing loss, hearing aids can help. They amplify external sounds, making your tinnitus noise less noticeable and improving your communication with other people.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

This approach combines sound therapy with counselling, with the view of helping the brain become more accustomed to tinnitus. This is an effective way of learning how to manage the condition over time.

Medication Options

There’s no specific medication that helps with tinnitus. However, if you’re experiencing sleep disturbances or emotional distress, you may benefit from sleeping medication or anti-anxiety medication.

Our Tinnitus Treatment Approach

We believe in treating tinnitus at its root. Tinnitus is an imbalance of the electrical activity within the brain’s auditory cortex, which disrupts the way your brain “hears” sounds. Bringing this back into balance can significantly reduce tinnitus.

TMS has been proven to be effective at treating tinnitus symptoms. We base our approach on scientific evidence and real-world results.

Why Choose TMS for Tinnitus Treatment?

Benefits of TMS for tinnitus
Benefits of TMS for tinnitus

TMS offers a promising, safe, and potentially effective option for those seeking relief from tinnitus. We recommend choosing TMS for treatment of tinnitus because it’s:

  • Non-Invasive: No surgery or medication required
  • Effective: Studies show significant improvement in tinnitus symptoms for many patients
  • Safe: Minimal side effects and generally well-tolerated
  • Personalised: Treatment can be tailored to individual needs
  • Long-Lasting: Potential for long-term benefits that persist even after treatment ends.

How Can TMS Help Me?
Take the TMS Quiz to find out more.

FREE TMS CHECK TAKES 2 MINUTES

How Does TMS Therapy Work for Tinnitus?

TMS uses magnetic pulses to either stimulate or dampen nerve cells’ electrical signals in the brain’s auditory cortex. This is the area of the brain that processes sound.

These pulses aim to balance electrical signals and reduce the abnormal signals your brain interprets as phantom sounds. This “rebalancing” can significantly reduce the impact of tinnitus.

TMS stimulates neuroplasticity, which encourages the brain cells to form new connections, strengthen existing connections, and reorganise itself in order to perform better.

How Long Does TMS Treatment Take?

TMS treatment for tinnitus typically involves a series of daily sessions over a period of several weeks. While it varies from person to person, one common treatment protocol involves 10 consecutive sessions lasting 5 to 20 minutes each.

The exact duration and frequency of treatments may vary depending on individual needs and treatment response. Contact us for an accurate treatment plan based on your exact needs.

How Can TMS Help Me?
Take the TMS Quiz to find out more.

FREE TMS CHECK TAKES 2 MINUTES

Can Tinnitus Be Prevented?

Tinnitus can’t always be prevented, as it can be caused by various factors, some of which are unavoidable. However, you may be able to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus or worsening existing symptoms by:

  • Protecting Your Hearing: Wear earplugs or earmuffs in loud environments, keep your headphones or earphones’ volume low, and take breaks from noise exposure.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle: Exercise regularly, manage stress, get enough sleep, and avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption.
  • Managing Underlying Health Conditions: Some medical conditions can contribute to tinnitus, so early diagnosis and treatment can help.

While these measures can’t guarantee prevention, they can significantly reduce your risk of developing the condition and improve your overall ear health.

Is Tinnitus Treatment Covered by Insurance?

Yes, Medicare covers TMS treatments. Contact your health insurance provider to find out more about your specific treatment and potential financing options.

Tinnitus Treatment FAQs

  • Temporary tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise, ear infections, or medication side effects can last hours to weeks and often resolves on its own. Chronic tinnitus caused by age-related hearing loss, head injuries, or certain medical conditions lasts for months or years and may be persistent or come and go.

  • Existing studies show good results, with evidence of a noticeable improvement in symptoms in up to 50% of patients. However, tinnitus research is still ongoing. The success rate of tinnitus treatments varies widely depending on the type of treatment, what’s causing your tinnitus, and how success is defined (reduction or elimination of tinnitus).

Contact

Contact Neuralia TMS today and take a step toward a quieter, more fulfilling future.

Phone: 08 6230 3996 / 08 6230 2231

Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

Healthlink ID: neuralia

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Dr Shanek Wick – Author Bio

Dr. Shanek Wick, a distinguished Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, specialises in holistic mental health care with a focus on interventional psychiatry, neurostimulation, and addiction.

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Neuralia TMS are the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) specialists in Perth, WA. TMS is non-invasive treatment for depression and several other conditions.

Phone: 6230 3996
Email: [email protected]
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