Tinnitus - What is Tinnitus?
What is tinnitus? Tinnitus is the perception of ringing or other sound in the ears. This is characterized by the fact
that there is no external sound causing what is heard. The sounds can vary from a ringing to a buzzing, whistling,
roaring, hissing, or clicking sound. It is a common condition experienced by approximately one in five people at
some point in their lifetime.
It is important to know when asking the question "what is tinnitus" that
tinnitus alone is not a disorder. So it's all in the mind right? Well no, tinnitus does exist,
and is a symptom of an underlying condition. Most cases of noise in the ears are not a serious concern,
but rather an annoying result of another problem. Treatment can be administered to reduce the noise, and it can
often by eliminated by identifying and curing the problem causing it.
Other times tinnitus is a serious concern for the sufferer and can lead to drastic
reduction in quality of life for the sufferer.
Tinnitus can be cause by mild damage to the inner ear. There are tiny hairs
located in the ear that pick up on sound waves as they are heard, and send electrical responses to the brain. This
is how we can hear and interpret the sounds around us. If these hairs become bent or broken, they may send off
random messages to the brain when sound is not actually present.
Other common causes of tinnitus include earwax buildup, aging, and listening to
loud music, either from a concert or extended listening to an MP3 player loud through headphones. Medications
can sometimes be the culprit behind the ringing in the ears, which can usually be relieved once the medicine is
stopped or the dosage is lowered.
There are two forms of tinnitus.
The first is called subjective tinnitus, and it refers to the noises that only you
can hear. These can be caused from problems with the inner, middle, or outer ear. There may also be issues with
auditory nerves or area of the brain that receives the signals and interprets them as sound.
The second type is known as objective tinnitus. The sound regarding this form of
the condition can be heard by a physician when he does an examination of your ears. These noises can be caused by
an inner ear bone problem, blood vessel disorder, or muscular issue.
Tinnitus is an annoyance commonly experienced by many people at one point or
another. It is usually a symptom of a larger disorder and in some cases does not cause great concern but in others
it is a big problem. The symptom is usually curable and can be relieved by directly treating it or the disorder
that is causing the ringing in the ears. Excessive noise exposure can be a serious problem and hearing
protection devices, such as foam ear plugs, can aid in prevention of serious hearing loss. If you or a loved one suffers from tinnitus, we sympathize with you.
If you are experiencing some hearing issues, it would be best to first visit your doctor and or a hearing specialist. Sometimes there may be the need for hearing aids if there is enough damage done. But these devices have come a long way since they where first introduced. Many of them are barely noticeable and provide excellent help in hearing.
Most senior homecare services are very aware of this disorder and can often offer help or point someone in the right direction.