Tinnitus is one of the commonest physical symptoms and can affect all ages.
Sounds vary from ringing to buzzing and sometimes even musical…
Tinnitus is the conscious awareness of sound without an external stimulus. It can be a ringing sound, buzzing, rushing and for some people, even musical, which is experienced in the head or in one or both ears. It is one of the commonest physical symptoms and affects men and women equally.
How we hear sound
What does our anatomy tell us about tinnitus?
Treatment for Tinnitus.
Breathing and relaxation
Cognitive behavioural therapy for tinnitus
Common causes of tinnitus
Natural Hearing Loss
As you get older, usually by the time you are fifty, the cells within the inner ear are damaged due to wear and tear, resulting in hearing loss. This is called Presbyacusis or Presbycusis. This might explain why tinnitus is most prevalent in those over sixty.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss
Sudden hearing loss can be due to a viral infection or autoimmune disease. Damage to the cells in the inner ear has a similar effect to that of ageing.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise either through work or recreation can cause cell damage similar to that of ageing. If the sound is loud and intense enough such as gunshot or bomb blast, hearing loss can be sudden. Hearing tests results usually reveal a dip at 4KHz. You can prevent damage to your hearing and reduce the risk of tinnitus bu using custom ear protection.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth on the eighth cranial nerve. Patients usually present with unilateral tinnitus and an asymmetry in hearing and can also sometimes feel dizzy.
A condition where there is a bony overgrowth of the stapes bone (also known as the stirrup), in the middle ear. The restricted movement results in a reduction in sound energy and therefore, the sound has to be louder in order to reach the middle ear. Patients can undergo surgery- a stapedectomy. This is a relatively uncommon cause of tinnitus.
There is some suggestion that smoking increases the chances of hearing loss and tinnitus. Smoking is linked with cardiovascular disease and can reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells in the inner ear, resulting in cell death. There may also be a link with higher stress levels in smokers.
Ear wax or cerumen helps to keep the ear healthy and provides lubrication. If it builds up it can cause a blockage of sound so that you hear internal sounds much more, resulting in tinnitus, though it is uncommon.
A balance condition thought to be caused by abnormal levels of sodium and postassium in the inner ear. It may be caused by a viral infection or could be autoimmune, resulting in a low frequency hearing loss which is fluctuating; this fluctuation in hearing eventually stops and the patient is left with a permanent hearing loss. Aural fullness and commonly a low frequency tinnitus sound is the warning sign that the patient is about to feel dizzy.
innitus can be a result of medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin (in high doses) or Ibuprofen. Quinine (an anti-malarial drug), some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs may also result in tinnitus.
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