What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the term for sounds heard in one or both ears (sometimes in the head) that are not heard by other people. We can also provide help for people with hyperacusis (sensitivity to sounds).

How do I access the service?

Access is via referral from your GP, a hospital consultant or from within the audiology service.  Please see your GP initially, they will ask about your problem, check your ears and give you initial advice, if appropriate they will refer you either directly to the Tinnitus service or to see an Ear, Nose and Throat consultant (ENT). 

What happens when my referral is made?

All referrals are received by our clerical officer, checked and prioritised.  An appointment is then sent to you by post to the address given in the referral.  Sometimes appointments are available at short notice and we may telephone you to see if you can come to one.  

What will happen at my first appointment?

Your assessment will take between 45 minutes and an hour and will be carried out by a qualified Audiologist. You may have a hearing test (audiogram) if you have not had one very recently. Before you attend please give some thought to the following:


  • How long have you had your tinnitus?
  • What does it sound like?
  • Did or does anything set it off?
  • When are you most troubled by it?
  • Does anything make it better or worse?


  • How long have you had sensitivity to sounds?
  • What type of sounds are you sensitive to?
  • Did or does anything trigger the sensitivity?
  • When are you most troubled by it?
  • Does anything make it worse or better?

There are a range of management options available for either tinnitus or hyperacusis.  The most appropriate option will depend on your individual situation and on information you provide during your appointment. Options will be discussed and a management plan will be agreed with you.

What happens next?

Often only one appointment is needed; however, depending on the management plan and the nature of your tinnitus one or more follow up appointments may be planned to provide further assistance and check on your progress.  Your audiologist will advise you as you progress with the agreed management plan.