Tinnitus is a Latin word TINNIRE which means RINGING. It is an unpleasant condition in which someone hears ringing in his/her ear when no actual sound is present. It’s a condition that is associated with so many causes: the most common cause is:
– Noise-induced hearing loss; others are
– Ear infection oxidative stress
– Neurological damage (multiple sclerosis)
Foreign objects in the ear, nasal allergies that prevent fluid drain, wax build-up, and exposure to loud sounds. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines may cause tinnitus as well.
The kinds of sound held when someone is affected with tinnitus include:
• Electric buzzing,
• Whooping nature of sound,
• Hissing, etc
Tinnitus can be held in only one or in the both ears.
Statistically, millions around the world! Probably 18% of Australians have tinnitus at different times of their lives and approximately 50 million Americans have tinnitus in some form. Countries with self-help tinnitus therapy centers include USA, UK, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and, of course, Australia.
There are morethan ten million people in the United Kingdom with some form of hearing loss or one in six of the population from the total of 3.7 million are of working age (16-64) while 6.3 million of retirement age (65+).
Tinnitus could be present in children, although they rarely make this symptom known.
There are two kinds of Tinnitus:
• Subjective Tinnitus and
• Objective Tinnitus
The subjective tinnitus is the kind of tinnitus whereby only the patient can hear the sound. Problems of the inner, middle and outer ear could lead to the subjective tinnitus. It is also tinnitus noises that are audible to the sufferer only. Subjective tinnitus is much more common than the objective tinnitus; accounting for 95% of tinnitus cases. The severity of subjective tinnitus is a function of the individual’s reaction to the condition. Some individuals have difficulties sleeping or concentrating, feel depressed or anxious.
Causes of subjective tinnitus.
Loss of hearing (e.g acute hearing loss, Meniere’s diseases)
Noise-induced damage (e.g from acoustic shock, loud music, and loud machinery) is side effects.
Other health related problems are High or Low Blood Pressure, metabolic disorders, and tumors.
External ear infection, cerumen impaction and middle ear effusion. Sensorineural hearing loss may be caused by exposure to excessive loud noise, presbycusis, ototoxic medications.
Unilateral hearing should increase suspicion for acoustic neuroma. It may also be caused by neurologic, metabolic or psychogenic disorders.
Objective tinnitus; is a form audible to the practitioner examining the case. This is done with the use of stethoscope or simply by listening in close proximity to the ear. Objective tinnitus accounts for less than 5% of the overall tinnitus causes. Objective tinnitus is associated with vascular or muscular disorders. It is described as pulsatile or synchronous with patient’s heartbeats.
Objective tinnitus is usually caused by vascular abnormalities of the carotid artery or jugular venous systems.
Medications, though essential to tell your doctor your hearing and situation, some medications accumulating conditions results in you developing tinnitus. Of more attention are medications for Arthritis, Rheumatic diseases, some anti-biotic, and some depressants; as careless attention to these medications can cause tinnitus.