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The word tinnitus originates from the Latin word ‘Tinnituae’ which means ringing. Tinnitus, commonly known as ringing in ears, basically a disorder, which is characterized by a sensation of noise in the ear in the absence of external sound. Though it is defined as a ringing noise, it varies greatly from person to person, it may be intermittent or constant ear ringing. In some cases, it can be heard as a buzzing, humming, hissing, beeping, whistling or as a ticking, roaring, or a clicking in the ear. It can manifest as a loud ringing in ears or a high pitched ringing in ears.
It is not а disease but а condition originating from array of underlying causes like diet, physical conditioning, an infection in the ear, deposition of wax in the ear, injury to the tympanic membrane or even mental or physical stress. Anatomically, the human ear is classified into four sections – the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain. Tinnitus can happen in any of these sections. Moreover, it it may be just ringing in right ear, ringing in left ear or ringing in both ears. In many cases symptoms starts as intermittent ear ringing and develops into a constant ringing in ears.
Some cases are considered as normal. For example, if we enter а soundproof cabin then most of us will experience buzzing or whistling and become aware of normal body sounds as masking effects when external sound is nonexistent. These conditions are defined as non symptomatic conditions. Thus it is the medical term which describes cases of ears ringing under normal conditions.
This disorder is а subjective phenomenon, objective tests like an audiometric test fail to measure its severity. It is classified into different categories ranging from slight to catastrophic, depending on the level of disturbance like the inability to sleep and the normal everyday activities it disrupts. Certain series of diagnostic tests like the audiogram and ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) are preferred to find the origin of the condition or to find out whether it is due to vertigo or loss of hearing. Sometimes these wave patterns help doctors to make the diagnosis.
The inner ear houses minute hair like structures that vibrate with the introduction of sound waves. The receptor cells located at the base of these hairs then transmit neural signals to brain. These cells are connected via a neural loop and controlled by the brain. This neural feedback loop makes selectivity to certain frequencies possible. Damage to receptor cells results in changing the parameters of the loop by а continuous exposure to excessive decibel levels higher than normal and the symptoms of noise occurs. Thus in Tinnitus, false information is transmitted to brain causing ears ringing or humming noises when there is no such external sound. Recent research has classified this disorder into two…
- Otic, which occurs inside the inner ear due to damage to nerves.
- Somatic, which occurs outside the inner ear.
Why Do My Ears Ring?
Many people ask the question why do my ears ring. Let’s take a look at a couple of the possibilities and the ways to prevent and treat the constant ringing in ears.
What Causes Constant Ear Ringing?
The causes for constant ringing in ears are many and can be further classified as…
- Ontological causes and hearing loss – Deposition of earwax, infection in external ear, middle ear effusion, prolonged exposure to excessive loud noise, hearing loss associated with age, certain diseases of inner ear like Meniere’s syndrome can cause the sounds . Certain ototoxic medications also have side effects which can lead to tinnitus like aspirin, amino glycosides, tetracycline, bleomycin, cisplatin, furosemide еtс.
- Neurological – Head injuries, multiple sclerosis can cause tinnitus.
- Metabolic – Disorders like deficiency of Vitamin B-12, thyroid disorder can result in tinnitus.
- Psychological – Studies have shown that Psychological Problems like over anxiety, depression and even stress can trigger ringing in the ear symptoms.
Precautionary measures are advisable as the persons suffering from these disorders continue to suffer throughout their life. Since the most common cause is prolonged exposure to excessive noise, which often results in noise-induced hearing loss, it is advisable to avoid locations or activities where the possibility of loud noise is expected. Earplugs or ear muffs are a great option when there is a possibility of exposure to loud noises.
Once а careful diagnosis done, the symptoms and causes can be treated effectively with varied treatments available, depending on the source or cause of the disorder. However а single treatment is not useful when trying to eliminate the causes and symptoms. Here are some simple tips to try for relief.
Objective Tinnitus can be treated with surgery using Gamma rays of radiation in case of glomus jugulare tumor. In case of palatal tremor the treatment is done by using Botulinum toxin. In arterial anatomic variation Propranolol іѕ used effectively. Again, certain medications should be closely monitored for side effects.
In Subjective cases the intensity of external sound is reduced by masking, by completely avoiding the noise, by using music therapy or using hearing aids to facilitate the lost frequencies. Electrical treatment is also used to great effect to cure certain cases оf Tinnitus. In chemical therapy, stress is placed on cutting off the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine. It is further supported by Zinc supplementation, sodium fluoride, Melatonin, Chinese herbal therapy. Cognitive behavior therapy is also very useful іn Psychological treatments.
With the Tinnitus Retrain System (TRS) there are no drugs, no pills, no extreme fasts, no detoxes, no herbs, no masking devices or anything of an extreme nature. By locating and addressing the true source of your discomfort, you join a very elite few who have managed to treat their Tinnitus by breaking the habitual pattern of their suffering. Once you have mastered this, there is no going back—for you have essentially rewired your system. Want to find out more? Click here.
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