What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a physical condition in which you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears; the noise you hear doesn’t come from an external sound, as no other person can hear it. The noise can be so soft that you barely even notice them or so loud that they block the sound from external sources.
Tinnitus is a common problem and especially common in adults.
In severe cases, tinnitus can cause difficulty sleeping and concentrating, eventually leading to psychological distress.
Some cases of tinnitus are caused by ear blockages or infections and can cease once the underlying cause is treated. In cases where the tinnitus persists after the underlying cause has been treated, you can apply other treatment options like therapy and supplements such as Tinnitus911 to find relief and minimize symptoms.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is not necessarily a disease; it is simply a symptom of a deficiency in one’s hearing system (the ears and the brain).
Although a ringing sensation in the ears mostly characterizes tinnitus, the Phantom sounds can occur in different forms, such as;
The sound may occur periodically or constantly in either one or both ears.
The noises of tinnitus may vary in pitch, it could be just really low sounds, and in other cases, the noise can be so loud that it affects your concentration or your ability to hear external sounds.
Tinnitus is generally divided into two types, namely;
● Subjective Tinnitus:
Subjective tinnitus is the most common of the two types; it is simply an electrochemical phenomenon in which the sound is only audible to the person with the tinnitus and cannot be heard by an external observer.
● Objective Tinnitus:
This type of tinnitus isn’t as common as subjective tinnitus; under favorable conditions, an external observer can hear the noise of objective tinnitus.
Objective tinnitus is the noise that occurs due to a mechanical defect or a specific sound source. It is usually caused by conditions impacting the muscles or blood vessels.
Causes of Tinnitus
Research shows that some probable causes of tinnitus may include;
● Ear infections or injuries:
Tinnitus may occur if there is anything in the middle ear that hinders sound from reaching the inner ear. Some of these hindrances could be; a broken ear drum, infection, or wax blocking the eardrum.
Some drugs, known as ototoxic drugs, can pose a risk to your hearing which may eventually cause tinnitus. Examples of some of these ototoxic drugs are; high doses of aspirin, some types of antibiotics, and quinine-based antimalarials, amongst others.
Therefore, if you must take any of these, ensure that your doctor monitors the possible side effects. Most times, the noise ceases when you stop taking these drugs.
● Loss of hearing:
The tiny hair cells in your inner ear are responsible for transmitting your ear’s sound waves. When these hairs become bent or broken- which can result from aging- they emit electrical impulses randomly to your brain; this could also cause Tinnitus.
Some Risk Factors
Anybody can indeed suffer from tinnitus. However, some conditions make you more susceptible; they include;
● High alcohol consumption:
People who are given to consuming a lot of alcohol stand a high chance of experiencing tinnitus.
● Loud noise:
People at high risk include farmers, transport workers, and industrial workers because they are constantly exposed to loud noise from machines.
As your age advances, some nerve fiber in your ears begins to deteriorate; this can cause hearing problems often associated with tinnitus.
● Medical history:
People with a medical history of obesity, head injury, arthritis, and high blood pressure are more likely to experience tinnitus.
Men have a higher risk of developing tinnitus than women.
Can Tinnitus be Cured?
More often than not, tinnitus cannot be cured. But your doctor can administer a hearing loss test and recommend some treatment options that can help make your symptoms less pronounced.
● Noise Suppression:
You can use electronic devices like masking devices and white noise machines to curb the noise.
1. Masking devices:
Masking devices are similar to hearing aids, worn in the ear, and they generate a low-level white noise that helps suppress tinnitus symptoms.
2. White noise machines:
White noise machines effectively treat tinnitus; they produce sounds similar to environmental sounds like rainfall or ocean waves.
Fans, humidifiers, and air conditioners in the bedroom also produce white noise and can help to make tinnitus less obvious at night.
The aim of these counseling options like; cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), is to help you cope with Tinnitus. These therapy sessions can help give you a reorientation of your tinnitus symptoms, and with time, your tinnitus may bother you less.
Even though medications can cure tinnitus, in some severe cases, your doctor can prescribe some drugs to treat an underlying symptom that will help relieve your symptoms.
There are other treatment options for tinnitus, but the effectiveness of these treatments depends on whether
An underlying health condition causes your tinnitus. If that is the case, your doctor can relieve your symptoms by treating the underlying cause.
The treatments include;
● Changing medications:
If your symptoms are caused by a drug that you are currently taking, your doctor can advise that you stop taking the drug or switch to a different medication.
● Removing ear wax:
Extracting an ear wax blockage can help relieve you of tinnitus symptoms.
● Treating a blood vessel condition:
Surgery or any other treatment for an existing blood vessel condition can help treat tinnitus.
● Using hearing aids:
Using hearing aids can help reduce your symptoms; if your tinnitus is caused by hearing loss that is age-related or noise-induced
How to Prevent Tinnitus
Tinnitus may not have a cure, but it can be prevented. Below are some of the ways you can prevent tinnitus;
- Cut down on stress
- Desist from sticking things like cotton buds in your ears. If you use earplugs or hearing aids, ensure they are always kept clean
- If you must use headphones to listen to music, consider using “noise-canceling” headphones and keeping the volume low
- If you are going to be exposed to loud noise above 85 decibels (dB), you should apply earplugs
- Do not stand too close to the speakers
You can Manage Tinnitus
The more attention you give to your symptoms, the more difficult it becomes to get used to them.
It is possible to live a full and productive life, even with tinnitus; you must learn to survive your symptoms to the point where it is no longer a concern to you.