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.
Is There A Tinnitus Cure
In a small number of cases there is an underlying cause which may be corrected. For example, if a side-effect of a medicine that you are taking is causing tinnitus then a change of medication may cure the problem. If earwax or an ear infection is the cause then again, once this is cleared, the tinnitus settles.
Antidepressant medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have helped people in whom the tinnitus causes anxiety and/or depression. SSRIs have been tried for tinnitus in people without anxiety and depression but studies suggest they are not effective.
In most cases there is no easy cure. Some people are helped by understanding the problem and knowing that they do not have a serious underlying condition. With time, the tinnitus may become less of a problem as you adjust to it. In addition, the following often help.
Symptoms Of Tinnitus Can Cause Great Distress
While tinnitus can be caused by conditions that require medical attention, it is often a condition that is not medically serious. However, the distress and anxiety it produces can often disrupt peoples lives. Because of the negative impact tinnitus can have on people, it may be helpful to learn more information on what symptoms are common and benign , and those that require medical attention and interventions.
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With Tinnitus Hearing Sound In Silence Can Be A Real Earful
Living with tinnitus can be frustratingeven debilitating. But with the right treatment, people can learn to tune out the noise.
Like most people who have tinnitus, David Keenan, 57, a successful photographer who splits his time between Austin, TX, and New York City, remembers the precise moment he was robbed of silence. About six months after retiring from the software programming job he had held for three decades, Keenan was in the process of selling his home. He remembers sitting in the den of his condominium, when all of a sudden he heard a noise in his head.
“It was like a switch turned on. One minute it wasn’t there, and the next minute it was,” says Keenan. “I locked onto this noise and could not let it go.”
These days, Keenan is able to successfully manage his tinnitus. But reaching that point meant getting to the root of what can be a very complex condition and finding the right course of treatment.
Getting to the Root of Tinnitus
Not technically a disease, tinnitus is rather a symptom of a problem within the auditory system, which includes the ear, the auditory nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain, and the parts of the brain that process sound, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders .
Tinnitus from earwax buildup can usually be alleviated by cleaning out the ear canal, says Dr. DeVere, who has treated many people with tinnitus.
Managing Chronic Tinnitus
Finding the Right Combination
How Common Is Tinnitus
Tinnitus is common and can occur at any age. Most people have an occasional episode of tinnitus after going to a loud concert or disco. For most people, this is temporary and soon goes. As many as 1 in 10 people have persistent tinnitus that is mild and not very troublesome. However, about 1 in 100 people have tinnitus which persists most of the time, and severely affects their quality of life.
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Treating Momentary Ringing In The Ears
Is Silence Better Than Music
The sound of silence. While music is a great motivator for routine and repetitive tasks, listening to music can never be a completely passive activity. Almost all research in this area has shown that problem solving and memory recall tasks are performed better in silence than with any kind of background noise.
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Another Audiologists Take On Intermittent Tinnitus That Comes And Goes
There are many causes to intermittent tinnitus, begins Rivka Strom, AuD, CCC-A, Director of Audiology, Advanced Hearing NY Inc.
Tinnitus is highly correlated to hearing loss, but not all individuals with hearing loss experience tinnitus.
A change in hearing, middle ear infections or Eustachian tube dysfunction can often be a trigger for constant or chronic tinnitus.
Allergies can be a trigger as well. Remember that tinnitus is typically not objective.
Since it is a subjective phenomenon, it can be heard when an individual is fearful and looking for it, when stressed, when in a quiet environment where there are no distractions.
Awareness of tinnitus can be associated with conditions beyond hearing loss such as changes in biochemistry, new medications, anatomical abnormalities and the perception of tinnitus can change based on how our bodies change and how we react to those changes.
It can fluctuate based on ones well-being and mental status. Stress and mood changes are key triggers for many of those who suffer from tinnitus.
It may very well be that mental stress takes the No. 1 spot for the cause of intermittent tinnitus that comes and goes.
Dr. Stromis a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and has received several awards including Brooklyn Colleges Excellence In Audiology Award.
What Is The Outlook
Many people with tinnitus improve, with or without any treatment. Between 2 and 5 out of every 10 people with tinnitus improve within five years. Even if it does not go completely, it can become less severe or less frequent. How troublesome tinnitus is tends to go up and down.
For some people, tinnitus is just a little annoying. On the other end of the scale, for others it can really reduce their enjoyment of life. It may:
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Is There A Cure For Tinnitus
Although there is no “cure” for ringing in the ears, there is consensus in the medical community that patients are able to improve their quality of life by avoiding environmental triggers of the symptoms, while providing nutritional support for healthy microcirculation of the inner ear.
The inner ear is a complex system which depends on tiny hair-like sensors to convert external vibrations into recognizable sounds. Inflammation, irritation or trauma can be very disruptive in the inner ear. The blood vessels in the inner ear are very small, so much and that physicians refer to “microcirculation” when referring to them.
“I used Silent Ears Formula for about 6 weeks and thought it was a total waste of time and money. So I stopped taking it. Within about a week I realized it had been working because my tinnitus started coming back full force. The improvement had been subtle, but I realized I could hear the crickets at night clearly, and the ringing in my left ear was better than the right. I just ordered two more bottles and sure hope that quiet returns because it’s pretty much back full force again.”
Teens Loud Music And Possible Future Hearing Problems
One study found that out of 170 teenagers, over half had experienced tinnitus in the previous year. Research has proposed that potentially risky leisure habits, such as listening to loud music on personal devices, could trigger tinnitus.
However, the investigators found that those who were prone to tinnitus tended to keep their music volume down, suggsting they may already have a hidden susceptibility to hearing loss in the future.
They propose monitoring for tinnitus and a low tolerance for loud noise from an early age, as these could be early signs of future hearing loss.
Tinnitus is a common problem in the general population, especially among those with certain risk factors.
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Treatment Of Ear Ringing Or Buzzing
Attempts to identify and treat the disorder causing tinnitus are often unsuccessful. However, correcting any hearing loss relieves tinnitus in about half of people.
Treatment of stress and other mental conditions may help. Many people are reassured if they learn that their tinnitus is not caused by a serious disorder. Caffeine and other stimulants can worsen tinnitus, so people should try to avoid these.
Various techniques can help make tinnitus tolerable, although the ability to tolerate it varies from person to person. Many people find that background sound helps mask the tinnitus and helps them fall asleep. Some people play background music. Other people use a tinnitus masker, which is a device worn like a hearing aid that produces a constant level of neutral sounds. For the profoundly deaf, an implant in the cochlea may reduce tinnitus but is only done for people with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. If these standard techniques are not helpful, people may want to seek treatment in clinics that specialize in the treatment of tinnitus.
Ways To Silence The Ringing Noise In Ears
By | Submitted On April 09, 2007
It is a very stressful dilemma when it is constant or repeated and it can intrude with your ability to concentrate or sleep. Studies has not been able to produce an exact cause for why people hear a ringing. But, there are many theories floating around among the professionals and non professionals. This ringing can be a symptom of almost any ear condition including wax, ear infections, and injury from deafening noises. Antibiotics, aspirin, alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs can lead to buzzing noises. Many times tinnitus is a symptom of high blood pressure, an allergy, or anemia.
A simple strategy for you:
When one has been around deafening levels of noise for a long period of time it is very possible that hearing loss and tinnitus may occur. The levels of the ear ringing will get louder in quite places where there is very little background noise. The sounds can not be heard by anyone else and can worsen if your stress levels are not in control. Stress can be a big factor in dealing with tinnitus and the ringing noise in ears, which is the reason why exercise is recommended.
At home there are some things you can do to lessen the ringing noises in the ear such as avoiding coffee , alcohol, and smoking get plenty of rest and sleep with head propped up to lessen head congestion at night try using competing sounds, such as low-level music, ticking clocks, or other noises.
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Find Comfort In Counteracting The Sound
While there is no treatment to cure tinnitus, Dr. Star Lange-Richey, Riesberg Institute’s Audiologist, recommends, Keep a sound rich environment in your household or workplace – white noise.” White noise is the continuum of frequencies equally distributed over the whole hearing range. White noise is also used to mask background noises in the office or to aid in sleep. Home goods stores sell white noise machines. White noise mobile phones apps are also available. You can also produce white noise with everyday items in your home like a fan or a radio. A radio at a very volume to where it is just background noise. You merely need another sound to counteract the ringing, especially when needing to concentrate or sleep at night. Many treatments involve providing distractions.
People suffering from constant daytime ringing can also find relief by being fitted with a hearing device. Dr. Star Lange-Richey explains, A hearing aid pulls in those low-level background sounds, keeping the ears busy and the mind off the ringing. If that doesn’t help, there are hearing devices that have what’s known as the tinnitus masker, which displays a little soft white noise in the background. That helps again to ease the mind, or mask the ringing that you’re hearing.
Stress Anxiety And Depression
Some people become anxious or stressed by tinnitus. This can make things worse. You may benefit from learning ways to relax and to combat stress. There are other leaflets in this series which offer advice on easing stress and anxiety. If you become particularly anxious or become depressed it is best to see a doctor for advice on treatment.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a brain-training psychological therapy which may also help you deal with the effect tinnitus has on you.
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Constant Noise In The Head Such As Ringing In The Earsrarely Indicates A Serious Health Problem But It Sure Can Be Annoying Here’s How To Minimize It
Tinnitus is sound in the head with no external source. For many, it’s a ringing sound, while for others, it’s whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking. The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside the head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating.
Almost everyone has had tinnitus for a short time after being exposed to extremely loud noise. For example, attending a loud concert can trigger short-lived tinnitus. Some medications can cause tinnitus that goes away when the drug is discontinued. When it lasts more than six months, it’s known as chronic tinnitus. As many as 50 to 60 million people in the United States suffer from this condition it’s especially common in people over age 55 and strongly associated with hearing loss. Many people worry that tinnitus is a sign that they are going deaf or have another serious medical problem, but it rarely is.
The course of chronic tinnitus is unpredictable. Sometimes the symptoms remain the same, and sometimes they get worse. In about 10% of cases, the condition interferes with everyday life so much that professional help is needed.
While there’s no cure for chronic tinnitus, it often becomes less noticeable and more manageable over time. You can help ease the symptoms by educating yourself about the condition for example, understanding that it’s not dangerous. There are also several ways to help tune out the noise and minimize its impact.
Why Does Tinnitus Get Worse At Night
Unless you are profoundly deaf, your ear picks up some sounds during the day whether you realize it or not. It hears very faintly the music or the TV playing in the room. At the very least, you hear your own voice, but that all stops at night when you try to go to sleep.
Suddenly, all the sound disappears and the level of confusion in the brain rises in response. It only knows one thing to do when faced with total silence create noise even if its not real.
In other words, tinnitus gets worse at night because its too quiet. Creating sound is the solution for those who cant sleep because their ears are ringing.
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Why Do I Have It
There are a number of reasons for tinnitus. The most common situation is that it often comes as an unwanted ‘added extra’ when you develop age-related hearing loss. It may also occur as a consequence of exposure to loud noise, or from working in a noisy place for a long time. Sometimes it is a symptom of other medical conditions, such as Ménière’s disease, ear infections or inner ear conditions. Occasionally it’s caused by a build-up of wax in the ear . Sometimes there is no obvious reason.
Factors That Can Provoke These Ringing Sounds
These minor injuries to the inner ear can be generated by several causes, including:
- Exposure to loud noise for a long time, such as a concert or construction, or listening through speakers or headphones at a very high volume can cause it. In the first case, its easy to recover from and go back to normal. But in the second case, because its habitual, the damage caused by excessive volume reaching the ear can become permanent.
Earwax can also be the cause of tinnitus. An obstruction in the ear canal due to earwax accumulation can make it swell and even irritate the eardrum, generating this annoying imaginary sound. This can also arise from an ear infection.
As we grow older, we can gradually lose our sense of hearing, which in the long run, can bring a constant buzzing or clicking sensation in people over 60.
Another cause is variations in blood pressure.
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