Can the disturbing sounds be managed?
Researchers are still looking for a permanent cure for this persistent din.
But in many cases you can alleviate the symptoms yourself.
There are a variety of approaches to dealing with tinnitus.
Just be aware that results could vary because they hinge on the underlying causes.
Other factors could have an impact on your degree of relief, such as stress, depression, or other non ear-related health problems.
Tinnitus itself is not a disease
Although it is the cause of the discomfort in your head, it is not an illness in itself.
It does not cause hearing loss.
Impaired hearing is generally the result of a conductive condition of the outer or middle ear, and sometimes sensorineural inner ear ailments.
You lose your hearing through a many-layered mechansim.
The level of loss grades from slight to profound.
Often, ringing in the ears, or other intrusive noises come with hearing loss.
But not all tinnitus starts with hearing deterioration.
The problem is centred in your brain, not your ears.
Some researchers are convinced its a complex meshing of brain signals gone wrong.
It can originate by damage to the vibrating receptors, known as hair cells, in the cochlea of the inner ear.
This can mean a combination of bad outcomes for you.
First comes the hearing loss, gaps in some frequency ranges of hearing.
But there could also be a resultant rewiring of the auditory cortex of the brain, where the signals from the inner ear are processed.
Some scientists believe the brain attempts to fill the gaps by creating the phantom sounds.
MRI scans can show excessive activity in the brain’s auditory cortex.
Tinnitus and hearing loss do not automatically occur together.
It can be a joint result of hearing impairment brought on by noise damage.
If a ringing sound is one of your symptons, it does not mean another individual will have the same experience.
Others might be plagued by sounds like clicking, hissing, roaring, chirping or combinations of these.
The severity can range markedly, from mildly annoying to debilitating.
Episodes can be irregular or constant.
So, how did you get afflicted?
We have long known that sound is picked up by the ears and then processed in the brain.
But researchers are still grappling with the precise physiology of this annoying malady.
They have however identified a number of sources which can initiate or aggravate the condition.
- Head and neck injuries can trigger tinnitus, as well as headaches, vertigo and disturbed memory.
- Other ailments can be a source: Meniere’s disease, thyroid conditions, Lyme disease or fibromyalgia.
- Some tumors can the culprit.
- Something as simple as a build up of wax in the ears.
- A misaligned jaw.
- Cardiovascular disorders. Restricted blood flow in arteries or veins can result in pulsatile tinnitus, a rare condition which can show itself by a rhythmic pulsing in your ear.
- Side effects of certain medications. Those that can damage the ears are called ototoxic.
- Being subject to loud noise. Prolonged exposure can damage delicate hair cells in the inner ear, called cilia.
Medications that do not damage the ears, may still leave you with tinnitus as a side effect.
Always make your doctor aware of your condition if he or she is prescribing medication of any kind.
You might avoid side effects by a change of dosage, or switching to an alternative drug.
You’re far from alone in suffering tinnitus.
I recently stumbled upon some figures released by the U.S. Depatment of Veterans Affairs which were quite surprising.
The data show tinnitus as the leading cause for service-connected disability claims.
Listed are the five top compensation claims:
- Tinnitus: 971,990.
- Hearing Loss: 774,384.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: 572,612.
- Scars: 494,032.
- Diabetes: 377,945.
Many people around the world have to deal with this debilitating cacophony everyday, and finding out how to stop it can be tedious.
It’s estimated that 1 out of every 200 adults are affected by a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears when there is actually no outside noise present.
Unfortunately, the severity tends to increase with age, and has a large impact on your quality of life.
Tinnitus sufferers sometimes become agitated and forgetful, have problems sleeping, sustaining relationships, or holding down a job.
Each year there are extreme cases where sufferers commit suicide.
Imagine yourself waking up one morning to the sounds of high pitched ringing, buzzing or a combination of clamor.
The noises seem external, but are not. They are phantom sounds coming from within your own brain, and, if not treated, will be with you every day.
New research is helping to reduce and stop tinnitus.
A neurologist in Germany, who believes the ringing is caused by overactive sound signals perceived by the brain, is trying to normalize them to stop tinnitus.
He runs an electric current through sections of wire creating a magnetic field.
This is held over the patient’s head and the magnetic stimulation reduces the neural activity and stops the ringing.
So far it has helped many to reduce their symptoms and in a few completely stopped it.
A Belgium neurosurgeon has taken a different approach to terminate the condition.
He implants electrodes directly into the brain of sufferers to permanently normalize the overactive sound signals.
It has been effective, and in some of his patients, the noises have been stopped or reduced.
Researchers in Cambridge have found that lidocaine, the most popular anesthetic used all over the world, can reduce the ringing in two thirds of sufferers for around five minutes.
Unfortunately the drug is dangerous and the effect is short-lived.
But is very promising as a future method to terminate tinnitus.
It’s a case of finding a drug with the reducing effect of lidocaine, but without the side effects.
You need to shop around for quick relief.
Many find it’s a trial and error approach until you find what works for you.
There are a few different things that you can try.
1.) See your doctor first:
Since tinnitus can be caused from anything from a head and neck injury, high blood pressure, thyroid condition, excessive loud noise, to ear wax build up, consult your doctor.
Revise your history with a physical examination, and if necessary, laboratory tests.
Check your current medications, since some cause tinnitus.
The doctor will try to identify the cause of your condition to find a solution.
Medication to improve blood circulation and increase oxygen supply in the ears may be prescribed.
2.) Use a hearing aid or hearing aid with a masker:
Many have found that a hearing aid helps because it makes it easier to hear the natural sounds around and subdue the ringing.
A hearing aid with a masker also works well for some by emitting a frequency that helps to drown out the intrusive sounds.
3.) Use acupressure:
This releases endorphins that give a sense of well-being, help to speed up recovery of your cause, and reduce stress.
All these are useful to terminate tinnitus. Learn more about acupressure
4.) Relieve your stress and anxiety:
Stress is directly related to tinnitus in most sufferers.
Use meditation, yoga, soothing music, a hot bath, or relaxation exercises to relieve your stress.
5.) Take a homeopathic approach:
Today this is more widely accepted as a possible solution.
Identify the cause and counteract with an herbal remedy.
6.) Look for what’s new online: