Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) is a hearing ailment which affects a projected 50 million Americans somewhere between 60 and 75 years old. The principal symptom of tinnitus, which generally impacts a great deal more men than women, is hearing tones that nobody else is able to hear.
These sounds might be experienced as coming from the ear itself, or possibly from inside the head.
The more prevalent tones heard by tinnitus sufferers are a prolonged high-pitched ringing, a roaring, buzzing, whistling, or humming noise, or possibly in some cases a cricket-like chirping noise. Some forms of tinnitus feature a pulsing or recurrent clicking, sometimes reported as associated with the individual’s heart rhythm. These symptoms constitute subjective tinnitus, and just the individual will be able to perceive the tone, but occasionally a doctor might be able to perceive faint sounds as well, in that case the disorder is recognized as objective tinnitus.
Tinnitus frequently suggests a problem taking place within the four parts of the auditory system – the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain – and as such could be more of a sign of other conditions than a disease alone. Tinnitus with greater frequency appears as a co-symptom connected to other types of either conductive or sensorineural loss of hearing, as opposed to being a type of hearing loss alone. However , because tinnitus can cause individuals to hear the buzzing or ringing sound continually, this can have the effect of lowering a person’s absolute threshold of hearing, making it much harder to hear low-level sounds normally.
There are several causes of tinnitus, but the most commonly seen is aging, and age-related loss of hearing. Some of the other things that can cause tinnitus are actual physical transformations in the bones or hair cells in the inner ear, sustained exposure to loud music or noise, traumas to the ears, neck, or head, and even extended stress or depression. Tinnitus is occasionally seen as a secondary symptom of various other conditions, most notably Meniere’s disease, TMJ disorder, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and some tumors. Ringing in the ears can also be triggered by prescription and non-prescription drugs, such as antibiotics, medicines used to fight cancer or malaria, and even aspirin, when taken in large quantities.
There is no certain solution or treatment for tinnitus. Around 35% of incidents subside on their own in a few months. Some success has been found in treating the rest of the cases with electrical stimulation, nutrition and drug therapy, and when necessary, a surgical procedure. If many of the signs and symptoms of ringing in the ears listed above sound familiar to you, consult an experienced professional for an assessment, so that they may help you find the most effective solution to the problem.