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Tinnitus-Ringing In The Ears
17 June 2021
Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, is characterized by clicking, hissing, buzzing, or roaring sounds. It can be low-pitched or high-pitched, loud or soft. It can be heard in both ears or just one. Tinnitus can not be defined as a disease but as an alarm that something is wrong in the auditory system. The system includes the ear, the auditory nerve which connects it to the brain, and the other sections of the brain that process sound.
Loss of sensory hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear can be one of the causes of tinnitus.
Prolonged exposure to excessively loud noise.
Loss of sensory cells can lead to sound processing in the brain differently.
Tinnitus is the brain’s way of filling in for the missing external stimuli.
The brain tends to adapt to the new set of frequencies that it doesn’t receive from its auditory system.
Stiffening of the middle ear bones
Tinnitus that sounds like heartbeats can be more alarming than others. This can indicate unusual growth in the ear, which can be a tumor, an abnormal connection between vein and arteries.
It can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. The actual reason or science behind tinnitus taking place is unknown. The mechanism behind an absent sound being heard is still unknown.
There are no specific at-home tests to diagnose tinnitus.
Doctors conduct a hearing test
Occasionally, specialists suggest a brain scan.
During hearing tests, various frequency sounds will be played through a headphone, and each time you hear a sound, you will press a button. This data will produce a graph that will help define if you are experiencing any type of hearing loss.
Tympanometry is a test in which the bones of the middle of the ear and the eardrums are tested. A probe is placed in your ear and a tone is produced and the pressure of the ear is changed. These responses are recorded for further analysis.
In a very rare scenario, an MRI scan is proposed for inside the ear, neck, or head. Blood tests are being done to understand the underlying reason behind tinnitus.
In most cases, it can be cured by understanding the health conditions of the patient. But there’s no specific cure for this condition.
In some cases, it can be a side effect of some medicine, then a change in medication can be the cure.
The patients can still try:
In this case, a low-volume sound/noise, such as white noise or low-level background music, can be played to help mask the tinnitus sound. The sound should be pleasant and easy on the ears.
Hearing aids and sound masking devices can be used.
Tinnitus can have a major impact on a person mentally. Ringing in the ears can harm the human brain's overall health. Patients with tinnitus are frequently diagnosed with anxiety, depression, mood swings, frustration, and a lack of concentration. It is not just the patient that suffers, but the people around them, like spouses, family, children, who have also experienced such feelings as they are the primary support to the patient. It is understandable for them to feel confused and frustrated as well while helping and supporting the patient.
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