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Author: admin, 14.03.2014
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.
The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) is a world leader, with a trained team of friendly and experienced advisers for anyone who experiences tinnitus or those simply seeking guidance or information about the condition.
The ear is also able to deal with a huge range of sound intensity (volume) from the quietest whisper or rustle of grass, to the sound of a jumbo-jet taking off! One of the additional, and often more troublesome problems that follows permanent noise-damage to the inner-ear is tinnitus.
For many people, tinnitus can be a far more troublesome symptom than any hearing loss which may be very mild indeed. Finally, it is worth remembering that as we get older, everyone’s ears and hearing deteriorate.
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.
Tinnitus is a condition experienced by millions of people and the number is continually growing each day according to Irene-Igbokwe who described it as a.


Essentially it is a very sensitive vibration sensor but is particularly designed to receive the minute longitudinal vibrations in air that make up sound waves.
As the range of sound intensities (volume) which the ear can hear is so great, a logarithmic scale is used to measure the sound levels. If, to have a conversation with a friend in a club, you have to shout by their ear, the background noise level must be in the region of 100-105dB. There is good evidence that the human ear can tolerate sound levels below 85dB almost indefinitely but with increasing sound levels above this, the chance of ear damage rises. Most people have experienced this as the short-lasting upset to hearing and ringing in the ears (tinnitus) after say, an evening in a loud bar or club. This tinnitus is due to the damage to the hair-cells which then leads to an upset or alteration in the tiny electrical signals that pass up the auditory nerve to the brain. This is especially true as there is no cure as such; once the damage has been done, it is permanent.
People often sweat in clubs and at parties and dehydration is not good for inner-ear function. 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.
Recent European legislation suggests that 85dB is safe for about 8 hours (the typical working day).
If the affected individual is unlucky, this new pattern of electrical signals may be recognised by the brain as a sound.
In reality the equal energy principle probably slightly underestimates the durability of the human ear. This can mean the appearance of a hearing problem much sooner in later life than normal and may be a real nuisance.
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). Tinnitus is a disease which can cause ringing in the ears or head due to neck injuries, ear infections, teeth grinding wax in the ear and head injury. Cochlea damage may also be caused by other idence, luding ear tinnitus tinnitus wax removal, ear infection.
So a sound of 20dB is not twice as loud as a sound of 10dB but in fact is 10 times as loud! The equal energy principle then says that for every doubling of sound intensity above this, the safe time of exposure must halve.
The sound itself is as individual as the person suffering with it, but common descriptions include: a whistle, a whine, a high-pitch ringing or even a buzzing.


This means that the ear can probably stand relatively high noise levels for a period of 2-3 hours provided it doesn’t have to do so too often.
And avoid too much alcohol in a noisy environment as this causes a specific fluid shift out of the inner ear which also causes problems and predisposes to damage. 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. Frankly, we all felt there would be some minor explanation like ear wax and a simple cleaning would solve the problem. Unfortunately, the ear, and in particular the cochlea or inner ear, can also be damaged by exposure to too much of the energy it was designed to detect.
As sound intensity is measured logarithmically, this means that a 3dB increase corresponds to a doubling of intensity. Once or twice a week in a loud club is probably reasonable; every night is not and is likely to lead to problems.
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. Ear wax is not something that your body produces that is simply manufactured to irritate you. Finally the vibrations of the stapes are transmitted through the oval window membrane to the fluids of the inner ear (cochlea).
However, if this type of noise exposure continues, over a prolonged period of time, permanent changes may occur. If you are going to be exposed to high noise levels on a regular basis then you should use earplugs.
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. It is here, in the inner ear, that the fluid vibrations lead to bending of the minute hair cells of the cochlea. People often worry that this might spoil their enjoyment of the music but in fact the research evidence suggests that if the noise levels are very high, then in fact you may hear things better with the earplugs in!
While it would be considered a rather bold clinical move, cochlear implants may be used to treat tinnitus in the future. First of all, the source of your tinnitus may simply be brought on by a build up wax in your ear.
It is this bending that causes tiny electrical signals to be passed through the auditory nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as sounds that we can then make sense of. Initially the sufferer might not notice a hearing loss as such but rather a difficulty understanding what people are saying, particularly in the presence of background sound.
If it is not from wax, you could be having a foreign object stuck in your ear canal, specifically near the ear drum. Many tinnitus sufferers have hearing loss and if your ears are blocked with ear wax hearing.
These are the so-called speech frequencies and are especially important for human social communication. It is used primarily to relieve conditions in the head and ear area, such as sinus problem, compacted ear wax, tinnitus and headaches or simply as an. By having a physician or audiologist remove the wax, the source of the tinnitus is also removed.



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