Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by hearing a noise or ringing in the ear in the absence of an external source. Typically experienced as a ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking sound, it can have many causes, including age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, ear infections, or head trauma may be the cause. Although tinnitus is often viewed as a symptom rather than a disease, it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.
Not a week goes by in my clinic without someone having strange, constant auditory hallucinations in one or both ears. The noise is loud, distracting, and frightening. And it doesn’t go away.
The type of sound varies from patient to patient. A buzzing, blowing, hissing, ringing, growling, rumbling, whooshing sound, or a combination thereof. But whatever sound the condition is called tinnitusAnd one thing that tinnitus sufferers have in common is that the sound is not external. Instead, the noise is literally in their heads.
as a neurologist – I am an ear specialist – I have seen about 2,500 tinnitus patients in my 20 year career. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not surprising. Up to 15% of the US population. experience tinnitusThat’s over 50 million Americans.
About 20 million of them suffer from annoying chronic tinnitus, and another 2 million suffer from tinnitus. extreme and debilitating tinnitusAlthough the condition seems to affect middle-aged people most, I have seen young patients with tinnitus and even teenagers.
One way to stop tinnitus before it starts: Wear hearing protection in noisy areas.
dissatisfaction with doctors
What is causing the noise? Some researchers believe that tinnitus originates in the ear. Others hypothesize that it occurs in the brain. but no one is sureThere is currently no cure.
Unfortunately, as many patients have told me over the years, many doctors are negative about tinnitus. tell you to This inconsiderate attitude frustrates and angers the patient.
Yes, tinnitus cannot be cured. However, it is also true that hearing professionals have many strategies to help patients cope. For most people, there are many things that can be done to reduce discomfort.
Much of the condition remains a mystery, but clinicians and researchers know that loud noises can trigger tinnitus. Firearms, power tools, heavy machinery, MRI scans, even one rock concert. Loud music is often the culprit. A single exposure to loud noise – What Doctors Call Acoustic Trauma – Can cause tinnitus, but is mostly temporary.
This is why many people in the military have tinnitus, possibly developing it after being exposed to loud gunfire or vehicle or aircraft noise.In fact, more than 2.5 million veterans receive tinnitus disability benefits.
Other factors that can cause tinnitus include sinus infections, fever, flu, emotional stress, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. and some drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Once you stop taking these drinks and medications, tinnitus usually resolves or at least reduces on its own.
One way to calm tinnitus is with speech-generated video.
key to recovery
People experiencing tinnitus should have their ears examined to rule out simple causes such as earwax buildup, infection, or holes in the eardrum. they again, Comprehensive hearing test Evaluate tinnitus.
By the time they see a doctor, many patients are already in a cycle of stress.
Therefore, it is important for doctors to reassure them that tinnitus is not dangerous, life-threatening, or a more serious sign or symptom. This simple reassurance is enough for most people to successfully manage their tinnitus.
Background noise often drowns out tinnitus, and many external sources work.Youtube Many videos with sound Helps cancel out unpleasant sounds, some of these have a black screen It runs all night. free smartphone app Yes; for some people, air conditioning, fans, audio equipment, televisions, and radios can help mask tinnitus.
there is also Pronunciation device that fits in the ear Helps combat tinnitus. Programmed by an audiologist, these sound maskers emit tones at the same pitch as the user’s tinnitus, helping to neutralize internal sounds. These devices are typically not covered by insurance companies or Medicare.
For people with hearing loss, regular hearing aids can camouflage tinnitus by capturing background noise while helping the patient hear.
some kind Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs work.
Another approach is cognitive behavioral therapy. i.e. talk therapyThis is especially useful for people with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, a history of concussion, or other traumatic brain injuries. So people can learn to live with it instead of fighting it.
Some patients have tinnitus retraining therapy works. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is combined with a programmed noise-cancelling device that plays soothing music to incorporate the patient’s tinnitus tones into the music.
The theory is that tinnitus no longer causes anxiety or stress because patients associate tinnitus with soothing music.study show 80% of patients get at least some benefit from therapy.
But be careful with many supplements on the market. cure or reduce tinnitusNo scientific studies have shown these supplements to cure this condition.
Other types of tinnitus
A person with a pulse in one or both ears – this is called Pulsatile or pulse-synchronous tinnitus – You should see a doctor.Causes of pulsatile tinnitus often described as a whooshing sound that matches the pulse, may be due to an abnormality in one of the blood vessels near the ear. Often these abnormalities are treatable and can reduce or even eliminate pulsatile tinnitus.
Similarly, click or tap type Tinnitus also needs to be evaluated more thoroughly with people awakened by noise. This may be a rare symptom of tinnitus.
Now for some additional good news. Time can make a big difference for many tinnitus sufferers. It may take months, or even years, but at some point, the condition often resolves almost on its own and its effects are greatly reduced.
Written by Bradley Kesser, Professor of Otology and Neurology at the University of Virginia.
This article was originally published conversation.