If you hear noises in your ear when it is quiet, you may suffer from tinnitus.
This condition often results in a buzzing, whistling, roaring or humming noise and is caused by a problem with the hearing system.
It is not curable but can be treated easily and managed with some lifestyle changes.
Avoid loud noises
Loud noises will make your existing tinnitus worse, so it is best to wear ear plugs or muffs when you are exposed to high decibels, such as those from mowing the lawn or using a chainsaw.
If you cannot hear someone talking to you from a metre away from you, the noise level is too loud.
Often stress can make tinnitus worse, so it is essential to take steps to learn techniques to help you unwind.
This may change person to person but you could consider taking up a yoga class, starting Tai Chi or having a massage.
Where possible it is important to avoid stressful situations and to think positively.
Some people also notice additional benefits from hypnotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy as this can help you to control stress better.
Good quality and well fitted hearing aids can help to improve your hearing and take away any strain you may feel when listening to others.
Some people find that caffeine in coffee, teas and colas impacts their hearing and results in an increase in tinnitus symptoms.
Quinine, an ingredient in tonic water, may also increase symptoms.
Other people find eating carbohydrate-rich meals can help as they can cause a sedative effect on the brain.
Lighting up can cause your blood vessels to narrow, which means it may be harder for oxygen to reach your ears and sensory cells.This can affect your hearing.
Certain medications may interfere with your ears and make your tinnitus worse. This is of particular concern if you are ion medication for rheumatic diseases, arthritis or depression.
Make sure your GP knows about your tinnitus if you are being prescribed anything, including antibiotics.