Tinnitus is a term used to describe a condition where patients hear noises in their ears or in their head.  Tinnitus is sometimes called ‘the sound of silence’ because everyone, if they are seated in a completely quiet soundproofed room, will hear a type of rushing or hissing sound.  Usually this sound is masked by everyday environmental noise.  It is when this type of noise becomes intrusive into everyday life that it can become irritating and is known as ‘tinnitus’.  The more anxious the sufferer feels the worse the tinnitus becomes.  Sometimes the tinnitus is accompanied by a hearing loss and by using a hearing aid the tinnitus can be diminished.  This is because background noise is amplified by the hearing aid, which “masks” the annoying sound.  In certain cases if the tinnitus is particularly intrusive I may refer you to a specialist tinnitus therapist.