Tinnitus: Causes and Treatment

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Tinnitus: Causes and Treatment

Tinnitus is the technical term for the condition associated with a sensation of ringing in one or both of the ears despite there being no external sound source. The sensation may not just be of ringing, but the sound heard can also be reported as a roaring, buzzing, whistling or hissing. Tinnitus may be subjective or objective. Subjective tinnitus can only be heard by the individual that it affects, while objective tinnitus can be heard by others due to the source being abnormal blood vessels that audibly pulsate in rhythm with one’s heartbeat.

Tinnitus is quite common, affecting about 15-20% of all people, though severity and cause varies greatly between individuals. It is most common in adults. If you regularly hear a sustained irritating sound when there is no external sound source, you might have tinnitus. If it is especially distracting or annoying, we recommend you visit a professional to determine if there are any treatment options available for you. Here are some of the Best ENT specialist in Karachi if you require an appointment in that city.

Causes

There are a number of different potential causes of tinnitus, ranging from physical trauma to internal metabolic changes. The most common causes include:

  • Ear Infection: An infection or inflammation can cause a build-up of fluid in the inner ear, as well as result in damage of the ear drum, which can disrupt electrical signals and increase pressure in the ear.
  • Ear Canal Blockage: A physical blockage like ear wax and dirt can increase pressure in the ear.
  • Hearing Loss: The hair cells of the ear, called the cochlea, which are in part responsible for the ear’s ability to interpret sound waves. Destruction of these cells or hairs can result in abnormal signals being sent to the brain which would be interpreted as noise. Damage to any other parts of the ear like the ear drum can also result in tinnitus, through constant exposure to loud noises that put excess pressure on the major parts of the ear canal.
  • Head or Neck Trauma: Trauma to either of these areas can result in damage to the ear canal and nerves that are responsible for sending and receiving signal to and from the brain that are responsible for interpreting sound.
  • Medication: Certain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, diuretics, antimalarial drugs, antibiotics and drugs meant to mitigate cancer symptoms may worsen tinnitus. 
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: These are disorders that affect the joints that sit on either side of the head in front of the ear, where the lower jaw bone connects to the skull. The close proximity of these joints, and their disruption, could cause negative effects, one of which is tinnitus.

Treatment

In order to treat tinnitus, the underlying cause must be treated. In the case of objective tinnitus, where the issue is pulsating abnormal blood vessels, a physician may suggest surgery. If the issue is a build-up of pressure, or specifically a blockage, a physician may attempt to first remove the blockage as a treatment. If this does not work, there are other options such as:

  • Medication such as anti-depressants and antianxiety drugs may help reduce the intensity of tinnitus.
  • Noise-suppression devices or hearing aids can help amplify external sounds in order to avoid the effects of tinnitus.
  • Cochlear implants can help bypass damaged parts of the ear.
  • Avoiding further intense stimuli can also help worsening the condition, as well as give your ears time to heal.

We recommend you consult a professional before considering treatment options. These Best ENT specialist in Lahore are great for online consultations.

Excessive consumption of alcohol, coffee, soda or chocolate – People who use this substance regularly are more likely to develop tannins. This is because these objects are stimuli. They are high in sugar and caffeine. When a person consumes too much of this substance, it restricts blood flow to the brain. Now a person will feel different, but the brain is affected by hearing due to lack of blood and oxygen and thus these bad sounds can be resolved. Treatment to get rid of tinnitus in this situation is easy, limit the use of this substance. It will make a difference as it eliminates the sound of tinnitus.

 

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