Have you ever had someone complaining of hearing “ringing in the ears” or hearing clicking, hissing, or whistling sounds? Those are classic symptoms of a condition known as Tinnitus. The causes of Tinnitus include continuous exposure to excessive noise, neck or head injuries, or ear infections.
Noise pollution is harmful, and any sound above 85 dBA is too loud and can cause harm over time.
It Affects the Old and Young
Millions of Americans are affected by Tinnitus, and although it is prevalent in people above 50 years, it can affect children and adolescents. Although there is no cure for Tinnitus, it is manageable. People affected by Tinnitus get used to it over time, though one in five people report that it affects their everyday life as it is debilitating.
Most people find it difficult to sleep, which reflects in their work the next day. School kids suffer poor concentration, resulting in below-average performance, leading to anxiety and depression.
What Is Meant By Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a condition and a symptom of some basic problem. It happens when people imagine hearing sounds from within and can’t pinpoint an external sound source. What makes it worse is that only a person with Tinnitus hears such sounds.
Most people report hearing a high-pitched ringing tone, which is pretty annoying, though not serious. In rare cases (1%), others around the affected person may also hear such sounds from the affected person’s body. The noise may be due to musculoskeletal movements in the affected person, indicating a medical emergency.
Common Symptoms of Tinnitus
The classic symptom of Tinnitus is an affected person hearing continuous or intermittent sounds from within. This non-auditory sound can be heard in either ear or both and can be low pitched or high pitched.
Most affected people describe the sounds as clicking, screeching, whistling, hissing, chirping, buzzing, whooshing, or musical. The sound’s volume fluctuates and is more profound during the nights or a quiet afternoon. Some people have reported hearing loss.
One of the most typical causes of Tinnitus is damage to the cochlea of the inner ear. Such damage to the inner ear results in loss of minute sensory hair cells, common in older adults. Tinnitus can happen when a person is exposed to loud noises continuously. Hearing loss and Tinnitus may occur at the same time, making diagnosis challenging.
Research studies indicate that sensory loss of some sound frequencies inhibits how the brain can process sound. When the brain stops receiving sound signals from its auditory system, it fills in the missing sound frequencies.
Treatment and Remedies
It is crucial to detect Tinnitus’ underlying cause first and seek treatment. The treatment involves prompt detection and treatment of any ear infection that lasts for more than a week.
The affected person may have to stop taking ototoxic medications if any. If there are any problems in the joint between the cheekbone and the jaw bone (temporomandibular), they need to be treated.
As there is no permanent cure for Tinnitus, people must learn to adjust and live with it. Sometimes, ignoring the condition may reduce the intensity of the sound.
Summing it Up
Tinnitus is not curable, and it is best to learn to live with the condition and seek relief through remedies. One can opt for sound therapy or Tinnitus retraining therapy (TTR), which helps manage the situation.
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