What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the head and/or ear which have no external source. It derives from the Latin word for ringing and those living with the condition may have to endure a ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or other noise. The sensation can be constant or intermittent and it can vary in volume. Tinnitus is very common and is reported in all age groups, even young children. About 30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives.

Whilst we do not know the exact causes of tinnitus, we know that it is not an illness and that it may be linked to a number of factors including hearing loss, noise exposure, medication, or traumatic life experiences.

For information on Hyperacusis please click here.

What can you do?

There's not a quick fix for tinnitus, often it will gradually improve over time. Depending on the degree of your tinnitus and how bothersome it may be there are a number of care options available to you.

  • Counselling and self-help tips through other agencies
  • The Tinnitus Clinic at South Warwickshire hospital
  • The Tinnitus Support Group - Currently cancelled due to Covid-19

Please click here for more information.

The Ida Tinnitus First Aid Kit, here, may also be of help to you.

The British Tinnitus Association is large charity that helps support people with tinnitus and has produced a number of easy read documents. For more information on tinnitus and self-help tips please visit click on the link for the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), click here. If you would like to speak to someone there is a tinnitus help line: 0800 018 0527.

The Tinnitus Clinic

The Tinnitus Clinic is currently able to see patients through a mixture of remote and face to face appointments. The format of your pathway will be specifically designed for the patient and is agreed by the patient and the Audiologist. We accept referrals for patients who have been seen by the Ear Nose and Throat Department and have been referred to us for more advice about their tinnitus. Typically, most patients are seen in the clinic up to five times.

  • Initially we phone each patient to gain a better understanding of their tinnitus and how it is affecting them
  • Each patient then completes our 4 part informational counselling course https://www.swft.nhs.uk/our-services/adult-hospital-services/audiology-hearing (scroll down to the Virtual Tinnitus Course tab)
  • A further appointment is arranged (virtually – by phone or online platform or face to face) to provide personalised counselling and support from this course and to jointly agree on a treatment plan

People have a key role in protecting their own health, choosing appropriate treatments and managing their long-term conditions. Self-management is a term used to include all the actions taken by people to recognise, treat and manage their own health. They may do this independently or in partnership with the healthcare system.

Here are some of the of the self- management options available:

  • Counselling - Understanding tinnitus plays an important part in learning how to cope with the condition and manage it more effectively. Tinnitus counselling is a type of therapy where you work with a healthcare professional to help you learn more about your tinnitus and find ways of coping with it.
    • The British Tinnitus Association have a new online resource for people with tinnitus: Take on Tinnitus. It is designed so it can be used on mobile phones, tablets or computers, includes an initial taster session followed by seven learning modules covering the fundamentals of tinnitus, hearing and tinnitus, benefits of using sound, the link between tinnitus and relaxation, sleep and tinnitus, the benefits of talking about it and living your life with tinnitus. Each module takes just 10-15 minutes to complete and includes a range of interactive exercises, video clips and self-tests all designed to keep you engaged in your learning.
    • There is a national initiative for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and access to the Warwick Centre can be found here.
  • Correcting hearing loss - People often report hearing their tinnitus more in a quiet environment .When you are fitted with hearing aids, you are able to pick up more of the background noises around you. This allows you to be distracted further by these sounds and not notice the tinnitus as much. By listening to external sounds, you’re likely to hear your tinnitus less.
  • Sound therapy – As tinnitus is often most noticeable in quiet environments. The aim of "sound therapy" is to fill any silence with neutral sounds to distract you from the sound of tinnitus. This may involve simple measures such as opening a window to hear noises coming from outside, leaving a radio or television on, or listening to sounds on a portable music player. Noise generators produce a continuous "shushing" sound at a level that's comfortable and soothing that be fitted in your ear or play through a separate device.
  • Self-help - Some people find self-help techniques useful for managing their tinnitus. These techniques include:
    • Relaxation and meditation – stress can make your tinnitus worse, so relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga may help.
    • Sleep hygiene – if tinnitus is affecting your sleep, changes you can make such as reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding stimulating activities and exercise before bed may help.
    • Activity- keeping the mind occupied with an absorbing task can help.
    • Exercise – Exercise helps the body achieve a higher level of well-being and in most cases this helps people to ignore and cope with their tinnitus more easily, as well as helping them to sleep better.
    • Apps - There are number of tinnitus support apps now available these apps may play relief sounds or assist in relaxation techniques. Click here for more details.
    • Mutual support - It can often be very helpful to talk to someone who understands how you are feeling, who can reassure you about anxieties you may have and answer your questions. This can be online, at information days or through a support group. Click here for more details

The following leaflets may be of help to you with all of these options:

Warwick Tinnitus Support Group

Due to the continued cancellation of the Warwick Tinnitus Support Group in view of Covid 19, we recommend that people attend an online version of the group hosted by the British Tinnitus Association. The Dates and times for various online meetings are as follows:


  • First Monday of the month (12.00-1.30pm)
  • First Wednesday of the month (6.30-8.00pm)
  • Second Monday of the month (7.30-9.00pm)
  • Third Saturday of the month (10.00-11.30am)
  • Fourth Tuesday of the month (12.00-1.30pm)

Tinnitus Gold Standard Support Group News

A tinnitus support group which meets at Warwick Hospital has become one of the first groups in the country to be awarded the Gold Standard for tinnitus support groups by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA).

The group, led by audiologists from the hospital’s audiology department, enables people with tinnitus to meet others with the condition, share useful tips on coping methods and find out what help is available. Click here to read more.



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