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Causes and symptoms
- impacted ear wax
- ear infections
- hardening of the structures of the inner ear
- hearing loss related to age or excessive noise
- ototoxic medications, including aspirin, quinine, some diuretics, heavy metals, alcohol, and certain antibiotics
- meniere's syndrome
- head trauma
- systemic diseases, including syphilis, hypertension, anemia, or hypothyroidism
- tumors of the ear
Tuning fork tests
Medical treatment begins with efforts to determine the underlying cause and treat it. When the cause cannot be found or is not amenable to control, symptomatic relief is attempted. However, some cases resist all conventional modes of therapy. Less traditional measures that have had varying degrees of success include biofeedback training and “masking.” Biofeedback training is especially helpful in those cases in which emotional stress and anxiety or hysteria are thought to be contributing factors. Through visual or auditory signals the person learns to relax and exert some degree of control over the autonomic nervous system. This can lower blood pressure and pulse rate and relax tense muscles. Masking simply provides a low-level noise to block out or mask the head noise heard by the person. Some examples include playing soft music or a tape of sounds of nature, such as a waterfall, while the person is resting or sleeping, providing “white sound” in the work setting, using a hearing aid to amplify sound from the outside and overcome head noise, and wearing a special tinnitus instrument that is a combination hearing aid and tinnitus masker for persons who have both hearing loss and tinnitus.
Persistent and severe tinnitus can interfere with patients' ability to perform their usual daily activities and prevent them from getting sufficient sleep and rest. Because the problem is so widespread, and for many persons incapacitating, there is a national association devoted to the study and management of tinnitus. Its address is American Tinnitus Association, P.O. Box 5, Portland, OR 97207.
tin·ni·tus(tin'i-tŭs, ti-nī'tŭs), Avoid the mispronunciation tin'nitus.
tinnitus/tin·ni·tus/ (tin´ĭ-tus) (tĭ-ni´tus) [L.] a noise in the ears, such as ringing, buzzing, roaring, or clicking.
tinnitusNeurology Nonhallucinatory ringing, buzzing, clicking, clanging, roaring, etc, in the ears linked to loss of hearing Etiology Aspirin, NSAIDs, aging, auditory neuroma, acoustic trauma
tinnitusAny sound originating in the head and perceptible by the person concerned. Tinnitus may be a hissing, whistling, clicking or ringing sound, appearing to come from one or both ears, or from the centre of the head. It is usually associated with deafness and may be caused by anything that damages the hearing mechanism of the inner ear, such as loud noise, drugs toxic to the ear, MENIERE'S DISEASE, OTOSCLEROSIS and PRESBYACUSIS. Tinnitus is best ignored, as a preoccupation with the symptom can be disabling. White noise tinnitus maskers are sometimes helpful.
Patient discussion about tinnitus
Q. What is Tinnitus? My doctor asked me if I have tinnitus and I didn't exactly understand what he meant. What is tinnitus?
Q. Tinnitus (Ringing and Other Ear Noise) Anybody have this problem? Urrrrrrrrrrr, I think I want to shoot myself,you know what I mean. It is worst than the chinese torture. Someone, please send me a good tip how to stop it. I have this for 4 yrs and it is driving me crazy. You cannot enjoy total complete silence. They say silence is golden but not when you have this ringgi in your ears. It gets worst when there is no noise. The only remedy I have is eating hot spicy curry, it helps for 2-3 wks and then it comes back again and then eating spicy food again. Listening to classical music helps to. Oh well.....just have to suck it up.
Q. I need help with tinnitus. Does anyone know of anything that helps ringing ears.
get rid of the cause- get rid of the problem.