The sensation of ringing, whistling, hissing or buzzing sound in the inner ear, when there is no external sound is known as Tinnitus. It is a common condition found in the majority of people. The phantom of sound heard in such a condition may vary from low pitch to high pitch or can remain constant; it entirely depends on the underlying cause. It can be heard in both the ears and either of the one. Tinnitus can be temporary, chronic and persistent; it entirely depends on the severity of the condition. Age factor, inflammation or injury in the inner ear or circulatory system disorders are some of the most common tinnitus causes that lead to such a condition.
Living with Tinnitus is quite difficult as it may trigger more when the background voice is low. It creates difficulty for a person to fall asleep in a quiet room. The annoyance in accomplishing daily chores becomes an everyday task. If the condition gets severe or complex it may create hindrance in sleeping and difficulty in concentration which leads to anxiety, distress & many other complications while affecting the quality of life.
Age factor is one such important factor that causes tinnitus and gets on the verge as the age increases. Age-related hearing loss is often associated with Tinnitus. Apart from ages, infection and blockages in the inner ear or vestibular system or Meniere’s disease may even result in Tinnitus. Exposure to loud noise damages the tiny hear cells further leading to tinnitus. People who work in the industry where they deal with prolonged exposure to loud noise are much at risk of tinnitus. Cardiovascular problems, ear wax build-up & excessive smoking create a higher risk of developing Tinnitus in patients.
Tinnitus can even be caused due to ear wax build-up. The inner ear wax is produced to protect and lubricate hair cells. Cleaning them with the ear bud pushes the wax further resulting in ear blockage, which further leads to tinnitus.
The tinnitus symptomscan subside eventually if treated on time. Your doctor will suggest you with the right tinnitus treatment and prescribe tinnitus medicines to cure such an ailment. Sometimes a higher dose of some medicines worsens the situation and nicotine and caffeine can even responsible for causing Tinnitus.
It can be cured completely if the underlying cause is treated well. In some complex cases, patients experience tinnitus even after the underlying cause is treated. In such cases, the physical therapist would recommend some physical therapies to bring relief to the patient. Tinnitus treatmentshelp in reducing the noise which makes tinnitus less noticeable. Tinnitus is widely categorized into two parts:
- Subjective Tinnitus
If a patient is experiencing subjective tinnitus only he/she can hear a phantom of sounds like ringing, hissing or whistling in the inner ear and not the other person. This is the most common type of tinnitus found in a majority of people. Subjective tinnitus is a result of an ear problem in the outer, middle or inner ear. Subjective tinnitus may even be caused due to inflammation in the vestibular nerve and cochlear nerve responsible for hearing.
- Objective Tinnitus
In objective tinnitus, along with you, your doctor can ever hear the ringing, hissing or whistling sound from your ear while examining. It is a very rare case and is found in a small percentage of people. Objective Tinnitus is a result of blood vessel problems, a middle ear bone condition or muscle contractions.
What are the common Tinnitus symptoms?
Ringing, hissing, whistling, clicking, roaring or buzzing in the inner ear are the most common tinnitus signs that indicate the onset of such a situation. It can be heard in both the ears and either of the one. It is commonly observed and triggers more in a quiet environment where the background voice is low. It makes difficult for a patient to sleep at night in a quiet environment as loud noises are heard during that duration. Fatigue, stress, difficulty in sleeping, concentration problems, memory issues, depression, anxiety are some of the most common tinnitus signs that drags your attention. It is advised to avoid the consumption of alcohol and quit smoking in such a situation, as it may trigger the tinnitus symptoms to a greater extent. If the patient is suffering from Meniere’s disease or inflammation in the vestibular system, dizziness is the most common symptom experienced by patients suffering from tinnitus.
Some measures for preventing Tinnitus
However, tinnitus is something that can’t be prevented. But, taking some precautionary measures helps in preventing some kind of tinnitus from an occurrence.
- Wear Hearing protection
Prolonged exposure to loud noise can damage hair cells in the inner ear, causing loss of hearing ability and tinnitus. If you are working in an industry like construction, music, etc. where you have to deal with loud sounds on an everyday basis, wearing hearing protection can help in preventing tinnitus.
- Don’t listen on high volume
Listening to music at a very high volume without any ear protection can cause hearing loss or tinnitus. It is advisable to turn down the volume while listening to music.
- Maintain cardiovascular health
If you are at risk of tinnitus due to blood vessel disorders, practicing regular exercise and eating healthy helps in preventing tinnitus.
- Altering lifestyle habits
Giving up on smoking and reducing the consumption of alcohol helps in preventing triggering of tinnitus symptoms. Excessing smoking causes the narrowing of blood vessels that help you to hear. Altering certain lifestyle habits and eating a healthy diet helps in preventing tinnitus.
As soon as you start observing any of the tinnitus symptoms, it is recommended to seek medical help for tinnitus cure. Your doctor will ask you to undergo various tests to identify the underlying cause and would suggest the right tinnitus treatment accordingly. If tinnitus is diagnosed timely, it is curable. Doctors will prescribe certain tinnitus medication to reduce the infection in the ear. If an antibiotic or drug is responsible for creating such a condition in a patient, your doctor may ask you to stop it immediately as the overdose of certain antibiotics can trigger tinnitus symptoms. If the tinnitus medications are not showing much relief, your doctor may suggest you for hearing aids or can suggest you undergoing tinnitus retraining therapy.
- Hearing aids
A well-fitted hearing aid help in reducing the distracting sounds in the ear, thereby improving hearing efficiency.
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
It helps the patients in retaining the auditory system to accept the annoying sounds in the inner ear as normal rather than disruptive. It helps the conscious mind from getting disturbed by the sounds in the inner ear. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a great success and has provided relief to the majority of patients suffering from tinnitus.
Treating tinnitus on time is necessary as these could be the early signs of hearing loss. A patient suffering from tinnitus can lead a normal life by getting the righttinnitus treatments if tinnitus is diagnosed timely.