Auditory Pathways And Tinnitus
Sound waves travel through the ear canal to the middle and inner ear, where hair cells in part of the cochlea help transform sound waves into electrical signals that then travel to the brain’s auditory cortex via the auditory nerve. When hair cells are damaged by loud noise or ototoxic drugs, for example the circuits in the brain don’t receive the signals they’re expecting. This stimulates abnormal activity in the neurons, which results in the illusion of sound, or tinnitus.
When Tinnitus Doesnt Seem To Be Getting Better On Its Own
If your tinnitus doesnt subside within the period of three months or so, the disorder is then categorized as chronic tinnitus .
Something like 5-15% of individuals globally have documented indications of chronic tinnitus. The precise causes of tinnitus are still not well understood though there are some known connections .
Usually, a quick cure for tinnitus will be unidentifiable if the triggers arent obvious. There is a good possibility that your tinnitus wont go away on its own if you have been hearing the ringing for over three months. In those situations, there are treatment possibilities available that can help you control symptoms and protect your quality of life.
Learn About What Can Cause Your Ears To Ring And What To Do About It
Tinnitus is very common so doctors are frequently asked “is there a cure for tinnitus?” An estimated 50 million adults in the U.S are affected by it every year.
For most people, the condition is merely an annoyance, but after prolonged bouts of time it can drive patients mad wondering why is there ringing in my ear?!
In severe cases, tinnitus can cause people to have difficulty concentrating and sleeping. It may eventually interfere with work and personal relationships, resulting in psychological distress.
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Injuries In The Head Or Neck
Even a little stress in your head or neck can cause tinnitus, so injury is a sure cause. This is because the head and neck connect to your ears and hearing. One way to know if this is the cause is if the ringing is only in one ear.
Some of the head or neck injuries that can cause tinnitus include being in an accident or hitting your head. Sports injuries from high-contact sports are often a cause of head injuries, too.
What Causes My Ears To Ring
By | Submitted On December 17, 2010
THERE ARE TWO BROAD CATEGORIES OF TINNITUS SYMPTOMS:
PULSATILE TINNITUS – Characterized by heartbeat like sounds often caused by muscle movement or blood flow near the ears.
NONPULSATILE TINNITUS – Associated with nerves pathways involved with hearing and may include one ear ringing, often being described as head ringing.
THE ABOVE TWO CATEGORIES INCLUDE :
Nerve Pathway Tinnitus
The nerve pathways are very delicate structures inside the hearing mechanism. Associated small hair cells transform fluid waves into nerve impulses. Serving a similar function to the ear as the cells of the eye’s retina, which transform light waves into nerve impulses. Swelling or irritation from many causes can easily create impairment of their function and cause ear ringing head noise. Possible causes include: infection allergic swelling systemic diseases, either acute or chronic, with resultant toxic effects. Sudden exposure to explosive sound or extended exposure to high noise levels in susceptible people are causative as well as certain drugs such as excessive use of aspirin. Small changes in the blood supply which change the nutrition to the area can result in one ear ringing or head ringing symptoms.
External Ear Tinnitus
Middle Ear Tinnitus
Inner Ear Tinnitus
For information on treating Tinnitus, please visit www.curetinnitusmiracle.net .
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Natural Cures For Ear Ringing
Tinnitus or ear ringing is a quite common problem. Tinnitus refers to the ringing, swishing or other types of sounds in the ear. This disorder can arise in the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear or in the brain.Old age can be a cause of ringing ears. Other causes may include improper functioning of the cochlea, that is, when it is not sending proper signals to the brain tinnitus may also be caused due to ear trauma, and in the present era, which faces the annoying problem of noise pollution, exposure to loud noises can be the reason behind ringing ears. Certain drugs may also cause tinnitus.
Why Do I Have This Noise In My Ears
Although we hear tinnitus in our ears, its source is really in the networks of brain cells that make sense of the sounds our ears hear. A way to think about tinnitus is that it often begins in the ear, but it continues in the brain.
Scientists still havent agreed upon what happens in the brain to create the illusion of sound when there is none. Some think that tinnitus is similar to chronic pain syndrome, in which the pain persists even after a wound or broken bone has healed.
Tinnitus could be the result of the brains neural circuits trying to adapt to the loss of sensory hair cells by turning up the sensitivity to sound. This would explain why some people with tinnitus are oversensitive to loud noise.
Tinnitus also could be the result of neural circuits thrown out of balance when damage in the inner ear changes signaling activity in the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes sound. Or it could be the result of abnormal interactions between neural circuits. The neural circuits involved in hearing arent solely dedicated to processing sound. They also communicate with other parts of the brain, such as the limbic region, which regulates mood and emotion.
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Evaluate And Treat Underlying Problems
If you develop tinnitus, it’s important to see your clinician. She or he will take a medical history, give you a physical examination, and do a series of tests to try to find the source of the problem. She or he will also ask you to describe the noise you’re hearing and the times and places in which you hear it. Your clinician will review your medical history, your current and past exposure to noise, and any medications or supplements you’re taking. Tinnitus can be a side effect of many medications, especially when taken at higher doses .
Musculoskeletal factors jaw clenching, tooth grinding, prior injury, or muscle tension in the neck sometimes make tinnitus more noticeable, so your clinician may ask you to tighten muscles or move the jaw or neck in certain ways to see if the sound changes. If tight muscles are part of the problem, massage therapy may help relieve it.
Tinnitus that’s continuous, steady, and high-pitched generally indicates a problem in the auditory system and requires hearing tests conducted by an audiologist. Pulsatile tinnitus calls for a medical evaluation, especially if the noise is frequent or constant. MRI or CT imaging may be needed to check for a tumor or blood vessel abnormality.
If you’re often exposed to loud noises at work or at home, it’s important to reduce the risk of hearing loss by using protectors such as earplugs or earmuff-like or custom-fitted devices.
Common Causes Of Tinnitus
If you suffer from tinnitus, its important that you see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.It can also be a side effect of large doses of certain medications, such as aspirin or quinine. If your doctor finds that none of these are the cause, he or she may order further tests to determine if your tinnitus is being caused by a medical condition.
- If you suffer from tinnitus, its important that you see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.
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Your Sinuses May Be Causing Your Ears To Ring
By | Submitted On August 29, 2011
When a person is sick, it is not unusual for sinus pressure to build within their head. Located between the ears, sinuses act as a filter for keeping unwanted particles out of the lungs. When the sinus cavity swells, not only does it allow unwanted particles to pass through, it may also put pressure on the ear drums and airways that run throughout the head. Sinuses will usually swell due to congestion brought on by a cold or allergies. Swelling of the sinuses blocks the Eustachian tubes and the nose, restricting sound from passing through the tube as it normally would. This swelling can cause ringing in the ears.
The medical term for ringing in the ears is tinnitus. The most common cause for tinnitus is loud, unfiltered noise entering the ear however, tinnitus can also result from a sinus infection, allergies or a number of other factors.
Ringing of the ears can be quite irritating and the sound heard can take on many different forms. A common sound is a constant ringing, similar to that of a school bell. In addition to a bell sound, many people have described the sound as a buzzing, crackling, drumming, or hissing. For some people, the sound is simply a minor annoyance. For others the sound can cause serious discomfort that inhibits a person’s ability to function normally.
What To Do If You Think You Have Tinnitus
The first steps to take if you think you have tinnitus is to note the details surrounding your symptoms. Did you begin a new medicine or were injured or exposed to excessive noise right before it started? Is the tinnitus in one or both ears? Does it fluctuate or is constant? Do you have a hearing loss?
Next, visit your physician or make an appointment with an ENT . Also, have your hearing checked by an audiologist.
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Why Are My Ears Ringing
An ENT specialist shares 10 strategies for coping with tinnitus
Just as a ringing bell can sound a warning, ringing in your ears can be a signal to pay attention to your body.
Ringing in your ears, or tinnitus, starts in your inner ear. Most often, it is caused by damage to or the loss of sensory hair cells in the cochlea, or the inner ear.
Tinnitus can present in many different ways, including sounds related to the ocean, ringing, buzzing, clicking, hissing or whooshing. The sound can be in one or both ears, constant or occasional, loud or soft. Often, it is more noticeable at night when you’re not distracted by work or family. It is often associated with hearing loss.
And it’s more common than you might expect. Over the past year, about 10 percent of the U.S. adult population has experienced tinnitus lasting at least five minutes, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Hearing Disorders.
“It’s not life threatening, and it is more of a symptom of other problems rather than a disease itself, but it can be debilitating,” says otolaryngologist Ashok Jagasia, MD, PhD. “In some people, the distracting sound can cause depression, anxiety and/or insomnia.”
When To Seek Help For Tinnitus
If the ringing persists for several weeks, visit your primary care physician. You might be directed to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who will order a hearing test called an audiogram.
“It helps us get a sense if there is nerve-related hearing loss associated with the tinnitus,” Jagasia says. “In patients over the age of 60, we usually find some hearing loss with the ringing.”
See a doctor right away if you are feeling dizzy, experience complete hearing loss in one ear or have symptoms of vertigo along with the ringing a combination of symptoms that could signal Meniere’s disease.
Another potentially serious red flag: if you hear your heartbeat whooshing, which is known as pulsatile tinnitus. This sensation can be caused by more serious problems, including a benign tumor, middle ear infections, high blood pressure, blocked arteries or stroke. If it happens to you, Jagasia recommends calling your doctor as soon as possible.
“As we get older, it’s common to start experiencing ringing in our ears at some point,” he says. “Most often, it’s not serious, but tinnitus can affect your day-to-day living. The good news is that we can teach our bodies to ignore it.”
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Should I Be Concerned About Tinnitus
Even though tinnitus is often benign, there are some specific symptoms that should alert people to seek medical evaluation:
- pulsatile tinnitus of any kind
- tinnitus in one ear only
- bothersome tinnitus that cannot be ignored
- tinnitus associated with room-spinning sensations
- tinnitus associated with sudden changes or fluctuations in hearing status.
If you experience tinnitus with any of the symptoms above, it is important to discuss them with your doctor or an otolaryngologist, who is a specialist in diagnosing, managing, and treating medical conditions of the head and neck, including the ears.
Medications That Cause Tinnitus
The most common drugs known to cause tinnitus are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , diuretics, certain antibiotics and cancer drugs, and the malaria drug quinine. But many others can cause tinnitus, too. If you experience tinnitus after starting any new medication, or changing a dosage, discuss it right away with your pharmacist or physician to determine if you should stop, reduce, or change the medications you are currently taking.
Did you know? One of the most common drugs known to cause tinnitus is aspirin, especially when taken in high doses.
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Have Tinnitus
While estimates vary, many suggest that around one in six Americans occasionally have bouts of tinnitus. When kids are included in estimates, more than 45 million people in the United States are thought to experience the condition now and then.
Between 6 and 9 percent of Americans say they experience tinnitus frequently or all the time. Tinnitus is slightly more common among men than among women, and a persons risk of tinnitus is greatest between ages 60 and 69.
While theres no cure for tinnitus, researchers are actively exploring ways to lessen the ringing and get rid of it entirely. Zitelli says the research being done centers on nailing down whats going on in the ear and the brain to generate the tinnitus.
Some of the newer technologies are getting closer to it, Frank says. One of these is a treatment technology called Desyncra, which focuses on retraining the way the brain interprets the information it receives from the ear. At home, a person wears special headphones and listens to therapeutic tones for a certain amount of time each day.
The theory is that by listening to this therapy, youre retraining the nerves to make a different pattern with their impulses so youre not hearing the tinnitus anymore, Frank says. Usually, its a 36-week treatment period that involves wearing the retraining device for four to six hours per day, Frank says.
Causes Of Ear Fullness: What You Should Know
and how it can affect your tinnitus
Driving up a canyon, taking off in an airplane, swimming completely submerged all of these things can make us take note of pressure in the inner ear. When this pressure cant be relieved in the normal manner, the result is ear fullness. The sensation of ear fullness , is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, including muffled hearing, tinnitus, vertigo, pain, tenderness or itching, fever, and discharge or drainage from the ear.
The inner ear is isolated from the environment by the eardrum on one side and the Eustachian Tube on the other. A yawn, swallowing, or chewing gum can relieve pressure in the ear by briefly opening the Eustachian Tube and allowing the pressure inside the ear to equalize with the outside. In most cases, ear fullness is caused by something as simple as congestion from a cold or hay fever, a mild infection, or even earwax build-up. These common causes are easily treated. Occasionally aural fullness is an indicator that one should seek medical treatment for a more dangerous underlying cause.
If aural fullness is caused by an imbalance of fluid in the inner ear, it is called Endolymphatic Hydrops. Hydrops is an accumulation of excess fluid in tissues or cavities of the body. The endolymph is the fluid contained in the labyrinth of the inner ear, which is normally maintained at a constant volume, and with a specific composition of electrolytes.
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The Condition Of Temporary Tinnitus
Around the globe, nearly everybody has had a bout of tinnitus because its very common. Tinnitus is a non-permanent condition, in most situations, and will ultimately vanish by itself. A rock concert is a good illustration: you go see Bruce Springsteen at your local stadium and when you get home, you notice that there is ringing in your ears.
Within a couple of days the type of tinnitus related to damage from loud noise will usually disappear .
Naturally, its precisely this type of noise damage that, over time, can cause hearing loss to go from temporary to chronic. One concert too many and you may be waiting quite a while for your tinnitus to subside on its own.
Hearing Aids Can Do Double Duty
Hearing aids may be the answer to tinnitus for people who have hearing loss.
By using hearing aids, you not only help reduce the awareness of the tinnitus, but you also improve your ability to hear as well, says Dr. Sandridge.
Some hearing aids have a built-in sound generator that produces ocean wave sounds or white or pink noise. These sounds provide relief by decreasing your awareness of the tinnitus by having your brain pay attention to the other neutral, non-threatening sounds. This promotes a process called habituation , which eventually will allow you to be aware of your tinnitus only when you actively listen for it.
In this case, the tinnitus is not gone, but you no longer pay attention to it unless you focus on it, she says. Our goal is to get you to the point where youre basically tuning the tinnitus out.
All in all, dont just wait and hope your tinnitus will go away. Talk to your primary care physician and audiologist if you notice ringing in your ears or other problems with your hearing. They can help you pinpoint your problem and help you find the relief you need.
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