Most people have never heard of tinnitus, but a lot of people suffer from it. It is a ringing in the ears that is not caused by any outside stimuli. This means there is no sound actually occurring, but the ear is reacting as if there is and the patient is able to hear the ringing. It is not a disease, but is a symptom of a hearing impairment or damage to the ear. For instance, those who listened to loud music, were involved in combat situations with loud noises, or worked in loud factories are more likely to suffer from the condition. It is why more and more people are wearing headphones to protect their hearing when involved in loud activities.
Tinnitus is not dangerous and will cause no severe harm, but it can be very annoying. The constant ringing is likely to lead to emotional disturbances because it is constant. It might also interfere with healthy hearing. If your hearing is fading with age and you add in the fact that you hear a constant ringing, it is going to make it very difficult to understand what people are saying. Not to mention you never enjoy the absolute quiet. Even when there are no sounds, the ringing can continue. Over time, this is bound to wear on your patience.
There are numerous tinnitus treatment, but not all of them are backed by strong medical support. In some cases, the treatment is intended to combat the problem caused by the tinnitus. For instance, people who have difficulty sleeping at night because of the constant ringing can use melatonin, a natural sleep aid, to help them get to and stay asleep. Surgery is available and people have differing results. In most cases, doctors and patients will attempt other procedures before trying surgery. Botox treatment has also been shown to help with tinnitus, especially when the problem is palatal tremor.
There are also a number of medications that can ease the effects of tinnitus. Tinnitus therapy includes lidocaine, vitamins, anti-depressants, and zinc. Some people also find avoiding certain things like caffeine, nicotine and salt can ease the effects of the ringing. Drinking alcohol has had varied results depending on the person. Some people find it is helpful in reducing the ringing while others find it makes the problem worse. Like most conditions, a combination of different treatments usually has the best effect. Since the condition is chronic, you will want to take time to experiment with different options and see what works best for you.