University of Edinburgh

Audiology Update

Presented on Thursday, 25 November 2010

Tinnitus in Children and Young Adults
How it Impacts Education Delivery

Dawn Lamerton


  • BTA state approx 10% of the population
  • Other papers, 1 in 22 in the states, Sweden approx 12% of children

Under-reported in children

  • If perceived from early childhood – will not know not everyone experiences tinnitus – though will report it accurately if asked
  • If acquired – will notice and report it

What is Tinnitus?

Sensation of hearing a noise in the absence of an external sound

  • 1, both or middle of the head
  • Low, medium or high frequency
  • One or more noises
  • Permanent or fluctuating
  • With or without hearing loss

What causes tinnitus?

  • Not a disease
  • Not an illness
  • It is a symptom generated within a persons auditory system

What can we do?

  • Reassurance
  • Explanation
  • Hope
  • Sound generators
  • Hearing Aids
  • Avoidance of silence
  • Relaxation

Today's Queries

1)Tinnitus and our aided children within an education environment

  • Majority of children do not seem overly distressed by tinnitus
  • Most will complain when it is at it’s most intrusive
  • Aiding is most effective

2) Does tinnitus affect how a hearing aid works or performs acoustically?

  • No – but it can affect concentration
  • But – why is there a hearing loss?

3) How can you tell a child has tinnitus?

You can't – you need to ask

Non-Aided children

  • Oncology
  • Conductive Hearing Loss
  • Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)