Facts and Knowledge
Table of Contents
Tinnitus is a symptom that is present in almost 15-20% of the population. It’s a bothersome symptom but it’s rarely an indicator of serious illness. It’s related to various diseases.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is hearing sound when no external sound is present.
Why does Tinnitus happen?
There are various theories of the origin of tinnitus but no one knows the exact reason yet.
When there’s disruption at any level it leads to Hearing loss. When there’s damage to inner hair cells it leads to hearing loss so our auditory area “Amp-Up” the hearing so we start hearing sounds of inner ear/ vessels/ muscles/ joints leading to Tinnitus.
Tinnitus could have many sounds:
If you’re perceiving voices in head then it’s a very serious condition and please consult a Psychiatrist for it.
What are the types of Tinnitus?
Objective tinnitus: only heard by the patient
Subjective tinnitus: heard by the patient and the doctor both. It could be due to blood vessel/ murmur/ bone joint/ muscle contraction etc.
What are the causes?
There are a lot of causes of tinnitus we’ll discuss a few causes here:
- Age-related hearing loss or Presbycusis leading to tinnitus.
- Exposure to loud sounds
- Ear wax
- Abnormal bone growth of Middle Ear- Otosclerosis
- Middle ear infections
- Certain drugs could also cause it:
- Pain killers
- Few antibiotics
- Cancer drugs
- Meniere’s Disease: Triad of Hearing Loss, Vertigo & Tinnitus.
- Cardiovascular diseases/ High blood pressure
How to Treat it?
- Treat the main cause or disease.
- Sound Therapy: keep a radio or music device close to masking the sounds of the inner ear.
- Counseling: when tinnitus in untreatable then the counseling helps the person in dealing with the disease.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): change the thinking about tinnitus, it helps the patient overcome tinnitus.
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT): this therapy retrains your brain responses towards tinnitus so the patient can tune out the sounds and become less aware of it.
- Tinnitus Maskers: They mask the tinnitus by producing white noise.
- Biofeedback & Stress Management: tinnitus is stressful and stress can increase tinnitus so this therapy aims in making the patient aware of stress works on a mindful based stress reduction technique.
All the treatments are still at its initial phase and no definitive treatment has yet been found. Few clinical trials are going on but they’re still on experimental phases. We hope we’ll have a treatment for tinnitus soon but for now this is all medical science has to offer.
- Scott & Brown’s Otolaryngology & Head & Neck Surgery 7th Ed.
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