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Tinnitus refers to any noises that are heard in the ears or the head.  Such noises can be ringing, buzzing, hissing or pulsing. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, ear infections, exposure to loud noise, stress and problems with your neck and jaw.  It is normal for tinnitus to occur "on and off".
There are no tablets to take to cure tinnitus as such, however there are many methods that are very effective in reducing the amount you are aware of your tinnitus. About Us Professional Partners Global Giving Buy1Give1 B1G1 Giving Impact What people are saying about us Audiologist ENT Specialists Vertigo Balance Physiotherapist How do we hear?
Indispensable in fitting today's more advanced digital and semi-digital tinnitus masking aids. Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present. Although there have been tremendous advances through research, the exact physiological cause or causes of tinnitus are not known.
Noise exposure – Exposure to loud noises can damage and even destroy hair cells, called cilia, in the inner ear.
Certain disorders, such as hypo- or hyperthyroidism, Meniere’s disease, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and thoracic outlet syndrome, can have tinnitus as a symptom. Ototoxicity – Some medications are ototoxic, that is, the medications are harmful or damaging to the ear. Although there presently is no cure, in some cases, tinnitus can be managed by treating the underlying cause or by altering reactions to it.
The phrase “prevention is the best medicine” could have been coined specifically for tinnitus.
When poor physical health is to blame for tinnitus, correct the underlying medical issue(s) are sometimes all it takes to get rid of the ringing in the ears. While it is not clear exactly why they work, certain antidepressant medications can correct or reduce tinnitus. Benzodiazepines (most famously, Valium and Ativan) have been tried in tinnitus with mixed results.
When tinnitus is a symptom on Meniere’s disease, surgical therapy might be able to correct the dizziness and ear fullness while at the same time eradicating tinnitus. While they have not yet been perfected, there are various types of electrical and mechanical devices that have been used to treat tinnitus. A tinnitus masking device is quite similar to a hearing aid in form but not necessarily in function. My foundation in faith and family has allowed me to face challenges and grow into an expert in hearing health care. Tinnitus is the perception of sound within the ear or head, without a corresponding external stimulus for that sound. Tinnitus may be described as a buzzing, ringing, roaring, clicking, booming, hissing, whistling or cicada-like noise. Objective tinnitus is generated by musculoskeletal and vascular structures that are in close proximity to the cochlea. Consider a review of medicines - have there been any new medicines started, including any over-the-counter medicines? A live insect in the ear canal may produce noises that are described in a similar way to tinnitus.
Hit the tuning fork lightly on your knee, elbow or firm surface and hold the base on the patient's forehead. A normal result is when the sound is heard again - air conduction is greater than bone conduction.


If the cause of tinnitus is found to be an underlying condition that is treatable in primary care, e.g. Tinnitus often disturbs sleep and the tiredness that results may then compound the problem. Many people with tinnitus seek quietness in an attempt to gain relief from the noise of their tinnitus.
Distraction with day to day activities (leisure or work) and regular exercise can be effective. The evidence to support the use of pharmacological treatments for tinnitus is inconclusive.
Thank you to Dr Ron Goodey, Otolaryngologist, Auckland for expert guidance in developing this article.
There are, however, several likely sources, all of which are known to trigger or worsen tinnitus. When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder can help alleviate the tinnitus. This kind of tinnitus can be caused by abnormal blood flow in arteries or veins close to the inner ear, brain tumors or irregularities in brain structure. However it is important to note that these options do not work for everyone and do not work to the same degree for each individual patient. Balancing thyroid hormone, correcting anemia, and controlling cholesterol might be all that is required to reverse tinnitus. While some have argued that tinnitus and depression are linked, it is not so simple to think that depression alone leads to tinnitus. These medicines quiet electrical activity in the brain and can be helpful in quieting some of the signals that cause tinnitus. If there is a physical problem that is causing tinnitus and it can be reached and corrected surgically, surgery becomes the treatment of choice.
In Meniere’s disease there is an excess of endolymph (fluid) in the vestibular system (the inner ear organ that helps us walk upright and maintain balance). Since once of the root causes (or pathways, really) of tinnitus is abnormal electrical activity in the nerves going from the cochlea to the auditory cortex, scientists and doctors have tried to use electrical stimulation to override those signals. Instead of stimulating the cochlea, a device is applied to the outside of the skull and stimulates brain tissue using strong magnetic oscillations. These tinnitus treatments include hearing aids, masking devices, and tinnitus feedback retraining.
While a hearing aid amplifies sounds that enter the ear, a tinnitus masking device creates noise of its own. It is a common, but frustrating problem for both patients and clinicians, as in many cases the cause cannot be identified and there is no single effective treatment. In some cases, referral for further investigations such as MRI is required to make a specific diagnosis.
Proceedings of ‘Tinnitus Discovery': Asia-Pacific Tinnitus Symposium, 11-12 Sept 2009, Auckland, New Zealand.
Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant-with single or multiple tones-and its perceived volume can range from subtle to shattering. Your Elkhart Audiologist, Sharon Hirstein, understands that tinnitus can negatively impact your life, family and work. Sure having tinnitus can be depressing, but only certain types of antidepressants work on tinnitus, specifically tricyclic antidepressants.
Sometimes these arteriovenous malformations, as they are called, are present at birth but more often they develop later in life.


In fact, the earliest reports of electrical stimulation of the ears for the treatment of tinnitus date back over a hundred years.
The technology has been used to improve drug delivery and reduce auditory hallucinations, but may also be effective in treating tinnitus.
Since hearing and tinnitus are intimately related, it makes sense that treating deafness also helps treat tinnitus. Before taking any medication, make sure that your prescribing physician is aware of your tinnitus, and discuss alternative medications that may be available. The best way to prevent tinnitus are to avoid those things that assault the ears namely prolonged exposure to loud noise, short exposures to extremely loud noise, and drugs that can hurt the ears. A full medical checkup is a good place to start because a great number of potential causes will be checked and addressed if needed. If depression was the sole cause, one would expect that better depression medicines like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) would also be the better tinnitus medicines.
Also, this class of drugs can be habit-forming, which is why they are used with caution and weighed against their usefulness.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign growth around the nerve that carries electrical signals from the inner ear to the brain.
While directly stimulating the auditory system has been reported to help 4 out of 5 patients, the tinnitus returns soon after the stimulation has stopped.
Early research indicates that transcranial magnetic stimulation may reduce the symptom of tinnitus for up to six months at a time. Improving hearing with a hearing aid does not always correct tinnitus, but it can be quite helpful to a number of patients with both hearing loss and tinnitus (about half).
It is important to identify people who are hearing genuine sounds generated within the body (objective tinnitus) or have some other underlying treatable condition. The area is certainly murky, scientifically, but antidepressant medications may be a tool to treat tinnitus in certain patients. Newer strategies for treating abnormal blood vessels include burning them or injecting them with sclerosing agents which causes the vessel to shrink and to die.
Meniere’s surgery is not 100% effective at treating the primary disease or tinnitus, but it may be an option for some people. It is not practical to use current methods of stimulation constantly—there would be no time for living life. Regular checkups can catch hormonal and metabolic problems in the early stages before they result in tinnitus. If the blood vessel that is causing the problem is an important one (like the jugular vein) destroying it is not a viable option. Similar tissue growths at various places in and around the ear can cause tinnitus and can be cured surgically. While these devices are primarily used to give the sense of hearing to the deaf, they do so by directly stimulating the cochlea. While it would be considered a rather bold clinical move, cochlear implants may be used to treat tinnitus in the future.



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