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Tinnitus - What is Tinnitus?

Posted Nov 22 2011 7:16am


It's estimated that up to 15% of all people experience tinnitus at some point in their lives, and it gets more and more common as we age. This term refers to a condition in which the ears hear a sound that is not actually there. It is often referred to as "ringing in the ears", although in addition to ringing sounds you might hear buzzing, whistling, hissing, or roaring noises. When there is no external reason for these noises, it can be assumed that they are instead caused by an imbalance of some sort. This is usually the result of the brain misinterpreting signals that it receives from nerves within the ear.

To find the best tinnitus treatment, it's first important to learn more about the symptoms, and what the different causes are. For some people, this will only be a momentary issue, while others will experience it as a permanent problem. When the problem is ongoing, it's vital to find a treatment that works or it can lead to depression, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, or sleep disturbances. Sufferers of this condition find that it is hard to focus on other sounds, when the sounds within their ears will not go away.

Although there is no common cause of this symptom for everyone, some of the most common causes include overexposure to noise, a buildup of earwax, head injuries, stress and anxiety, and ear infections. Meniere's disease, certain medications, and the natural hearing loss associated with aging are all also potential contributors to this condition. It's important to identify the cause to get an effective tinnitus treatment. Although in most cases patients will experience the tinnitus in both ears, if it occurs in only one ear you should pay special attention and seek medical advice, as it could be a sign of a rare tumor that grows around the acoustic nerve of the ear. This is extremely rare, however.

In most cases, tinnitus will go away on its own. Yet there are certain treatments and tinnitus therapy that can alleviate the symptoms. If you avoid loud noises and the buildup of earwax, you can help avoid this condition at the same time. White noise can be used to distract you when suffering a bout of ringing in the ears, as can an attempt to mask the noise with background radio. To find the best treatment, you will have to visit a healthcare professional to determine what the underlying cause is, and eliminate it at the source for best results.

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