What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the subjective perception of noise inside the ear without there being an outside sound source causing it. It is not a disease, but rather a symptom of anomaly in the hearing system or the upper auditory pathways. Multiple sensorineural and conductive hearing loss types can be accompanied by tinnitus, most notably a noise-induced hearing loss.

The subjective sounds can be perceived in one ear, in both ears or as a centralized ‘in the head’ noise. Tinnitus is mostly described as a ringing noise. However, these sounds can present themselves in different forms, namely hissing, buzzing, clicking or roaring noise. This condition is often accompanied by hyper sensitivity to environmental sounds known as hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is the condition where ordinary sounds are perceived as loud and uncomfortable.

This hearing anomaly impacts the life of about 700 000 Quebecers, 10% of whom the symptoms significantly impair their quality of life. Although tinnitus is most commonly accompanied by a hearing loss, people with normal hearing acuity can equally suffer from tinnitus. Stress, fatigue, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are non-auditory factors that influence the occurrence and severity.


A multidisciplinary team approach including the expertise of an audiologist, an ENT specialist and a psychologist is often needed for optimal treatment. Occasionally, the added expertise of a hearing aid acoustician or a neuropsychologist will prove necessary.

Unfortunately, science has not yet identified a definitive cure for tinnitus. Consequently, alternative treatment methods with variable therapeutic effects are proposed:

  • Brain stimulation techniques designed to stimulate the auditory cerebral cortex of the brain can be used to reduce the occurrence of this painful anomaly.
  • Hearing aids are used to mask the tinnitus sound. They also cause the individual to be less aware of the tinnitus noise during conversation.
  • Noise-generators can be used to create a soothing background noise to mask tinnitus. These systems are particularly useful for sleeping.
  • Professional support and rehabilitation programs can reduce the negative emotional impacts of tinnitus.
  • Relaxation techniques such as Yoga and other forms of physical activity such as walking and swimming can reduce the effects of tinnitus.
  • Medications and homeopathic drugs are beneficial for certain cases.
  • Alternative approaches like acupuncture and naturopathy can be used.

Tinnitus evaluation and treatment solutions.

Tinnitus maskers and other relief products.

Hany Ghonaim ODYO

Hany Ghonaim, audiologist

Hany is an audiologist that specializes in tinnitus, hearing loss for adults and vertigo. He has been serving ODYO’s clients for the past 5 years in the greater montreal area.

ODYO is an audiology clinic that facilitates access to hearing care through the mobility of its services, web technologies and awareness activities. Its vocation is to prevent hearing loss and to improve the quality of life and social integration of individuals living with hearing loss.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Hill says:

    My sister suffered chronic tinnitus for more than 47 years and it got worse as days passes. We tried many treatments but no result, she cry all time due to this symptoms and think to commit suicide as the noise get worsen. The noise is mostly of a ringing, roaring, buzzing and hissing type. It was constant 24/7. It is very bad affecting every aspect of her life. The sound becomes louder at night, at the time she goes to sleep. I searched online for a solution and came across an Herbalist called Dr. William. His herbal (natural) medicine has cure my sister and he is living a good life now, though it cost us a lot but the goodnews is that the medicine has effectively for her and no more Tinnitus symptoms. If you have same problem, this info might be very important contact him (e-mail removed)

  • elena says:

    I had tinnitus in both ears for six years with a high pitched two tone sound, the noises are constant and have learned to ignore the ringing. Later, another sound was added, a deep tone that has a sporadic rhythm, that mimics human speech. It varies from soft and muted, to painfully clear, and loud. Have try sound machines, ear plugs, my hearing aid, and medication all to no avail rather I have a difficult time sleeping. Lately I was directed to a Doctor called WEIL on internet who provided solution to the problem. Do not be discourage, there is hope for you, it is a permanent cure to Tinnitus. Contact him with this email (e-mail removed)

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