Does a ringing, hissing, roaring or clicking noise keep bothering you regularly? Is this noise persistent or occurs at regular intervals? You might be suffering from a condition called tinnitus. When people suffer from severe tinnitus they may also experience difficulty in hearing, sleeping and working. The noise heard is either a low roaring noise or a high screeching or droning noise.
Tinnitus is derived from Latin word 'to ring and medically means 'ringing in the ears'. One out of every five people in the world is affected by this condition and nearly 33% of senior people living throughout the world suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is not a disease, it is a disorder. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of tinnitus and possible cures for tinnitus. Let us also take a look at pulsatile tinnitus.
- The most common type is a ringing, hissing, roaring, buzzing, high-pitched ringing, or whistling noise heard by the person suffering from the condition.
- Another common type is called total tinnitus or 'ringing in the ears' where a continuous sound is heard.
- Another common type is subjective tinnitus. Only the person suffering from tinnitus can hear the noise and others around the person cannot hear the noise.
- Pulsatile or clicking tinnitus occurs when the noise is irregular but continuous or pulsating in time with the person's heartbeat.
- A rare type of tinnitus is called objective tinnitus where another person other than the person is able to hear the noise.
Cause for tinnitus
- Damage to the microscopic ends of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Perfect hearing is possible only if these nerves remain healthy and any damage to these nerves result in tinnitus or hearing impairment.
- In young people, continuous exposure to loud and deafening noise can lead to tinnitus.
- Progressing age can cause damage to the hearing nerve thus resulting in tinnitus.
- At times a small plug of wax in the ear canal can lead to temporary tinnitus.
- A block in the Eustachian tube can also cause tinnitus.
- Otosclerosis, stiffening of bones in the middle ear can also cause tinnitus.
- Tumor in the middle ear is another cause for tinnitus.
- Allergy, high or low blood pressure, injury in the head or neck, diabetes, thyroid, may also cause tinnitus.
- A noise that no one else can hear other than yourself.
- The noise is generally of ringing or buzzing type.
- The noise is often followed by dizziness or hearing loss.
- Ear pain.
- A feeling of fullness in the ear.
People suffering from tinnitus have to consult an otolaryngologist who can help in determining the right type of treatment for the condition. In case the otolaryngologist is able to determine the correct cause for the condition, he might be able to get rid of the noise. The precise cause for the condition can be determined after a series of tests like x-ray, balance tests, laboratory tests, etc. Tinnitus can be cured to a certain extent by following these precautions:
- Stay away from loud noises and sounds.
- Check your blood pressure regularly and seek to control it.
- Excessive salt is a major reason for blood circulation impairment.
- Learning to relax can go a long way.
- Keep away from tobacco, tea, cola, coffee and any kind of stimulant.
- Stop thinking and worrying about the noise.
- Exercise everyday to improve the blood circulation in the body.
- Concentration and relaxation exercise can help gain control over the muscles and blood circulation in the body. These exercises can help reduce tinnitus thus providing relief for patients.
- Hearing aids also work well for patients suffering from sever tinnitus. These hearing aids can help reduce the head noise and aid in hearing too. Ensure to set the right volume else it can worsen the condition.
- Masking helps reduce the head noise. Calm and quiet surroundings increase tinnitus by making the head noise clear, whereas a continuous low sound can help mask the head noise. Products that produce continuous low noises are available in the market to help people suffering from this condition.
- Hearing aids can be combined with masks to help patients suffering from tinnitus. The pleasant noise emitted by the maskers and the hearing aid together help in reducing the head noise in patients.
Pulsatile tinnitus is also called objective tinnitus. A hissing, buzzing, roaring, squealing noise in a person's ear, this noise follows the rhythm of the person's heartbeat. Pitch of the noise varies from person to person and can vary from dull to a high pitched noise. Pulsatile tinnitus is usually caused due to:
- High blood pressure
- Malformation of capillaries
- Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
- Tumor in the head or neck.
- Uncontrollable blood flow caused by narrowing arteries and veins.
Pulsatile tinnitus can be treated based on its cause. Medications are prescribed in cases of hypertension induced tinnitus whereas surgical repair will be suggested in case of problem in arteries.
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