What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is described as a constant or occasional ringing sound in the ears. It can originate in one of four areas of the body – the brain, inner ear, outer ear and middle ear. Different types of Tinnitus have various symptoms. It is necessary to evaluate the condition in detail to settle on a course of treatment.
What are its causes and concerns?
Tinnitus can result from the following:
- Exposure to loud noises, like an explosion or construction work
- Exposure to loud music or noise for a prolonged period
- Untreated and recurrent ear infections
- Trauma to the ear (being hit with a hard object, car accident, fall)
What are its symptoms?
Different symptoms characterise different types of this condition. The types of Tinnitus are:
- Subjective Tinnitus – the person can hear sounds, but no one else can hear them
- The person can hear a pulsatile clicking sound (the sound accompanies the heartbeat)
- Objective Tinnitus – the person, as well as the doctor, can hear the sound (when he or she listens closely)
In addition to this, different people experience different sounds of ringing in the ears. These sounds may be a low-pitched hum or a high-pitched ringing. Some other sounds that people may hear (either low- or high-pitched) are buzzing, chirping of crickets, whistling, hissing, crackling and thumping.
What are the solutions and treatment options?
Tinnitus requires medical intervention and cannot be treated at home. Since the treatment is dependent on the cause of the condition, an ear specialist must be consulted to make a detailed evaluation and chart a treatment course. Damage to the ear, presence of an underlying disease or condition are some common causes of Tinnitus.
When you come to our office, our ear specialist will examine your ears, neck and head to check for signs of injuries. An audiogram is performed at times to check the hearing ability in both ears. In some instances, testing with CT scans or MRIs may also be necessary.
Some treatment options for Tinnitus are:
- Avoidance of caffeine and aspirin
- White noise (fan or humidifier) for distraction
- Prescription medication
- Stress reduction
However, if the symptoms are found to worsen or the tests detect a tumour or an aneurysm, surgery may be required.
Tinnitus can be an annoying condition, but most people find ways to cope with it and live a normal life. Some people seek treatment to alleviate the discomfort when the annoyance becomes too intrusive. Do not wait any longer to start living a comfortable life! Let us help you try to silence the noise in your ears!
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