Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition by which a ringing sound exists within the human ear even when an actual sound is not generated. It is not a disease but may be associated with congenital hearing loss as well as noise-induced hearing loss, and sometimes as a side effect of different medications.

Causes

Buzzing in ear due to a certain medication is known as ototoxic tinnitus. Medications such as aspirin and those for diseases of the inner ear like Meniere’s syndrome can cause tinnitus. It may also be a symptom of illnesses such as brain tumor or brain aneurysm.

Ringing ears may also be caused by an ear infection, multiple sclerosis, oxidative stress, existence of foreign objects in the ear, nasal allergies, cerumen accumulation and exposure to loud sounds such as those caused by firearms, firecrackers and loud music. A common cause is damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve that forms part of the inner ear. A certain amount of hearing nerve impairment comes with old age and consequently cause chronic tinnitus.

Bothersome sounds

Specific Tinnitus Sounds
Specific Tinnitus Sounds

Tinnitus may occur in either ear, in both ears or in the head and is described as a ringing noise. It may also assume the form of electric buzzing, high pitch whining, humming, hissing, whistling sound, roaring, cricket type sound, clicking, cicada type sound, sizzling, beeping, tunes and sometimes as sounds that resemble voice of a person or even as a pure steady tone similar to those heard when taking a hearing test. It can occur continuously and may also be intermittent and may be a result of great distress.

What kind of sounds do you hear? Here is a brief stat of the predominant sounds that tinnitus patients hear taken from the tinnitusarchive.org

Tinnitus and hearing loss

A number of people with buzzing in ear also have a certain level of hearing loss such that this condition prevents the individual from clearly hearing external sounds. If it occurs frequently, the person may experience fatigue, clinical depressions and irritability as well as musical hallucinations.

Here are some suggestions to help you control or manage tinnitus:

  • Avoid exposure to loud sounds. The intensity of tinnitus can be reduced by limiting your exposure to loud sounds and noises.
  • Check your blood pressure. You must also control your blood pressure and decrease salt intake.
  • Avoid caffeine and sodas. Avoiding nerve stimulants such as coffee and sodas as well as tobacco can lessen frequency of tinnitus.
  • Relax. It is also essential to reduce anxiety and stop worrying about the buzzing sound in your ear to ease the condition.You must always remember to get adequate rest and exercise while avoiding fatigue.
  • Mask the noise. You can also make use of masking noise when tinnitus is very bothersome. When your are in a quiet place or when you are in a bed or in a room alone, sounds such as a radio, a fan or even a ticking clock may help mask tinnitus.
  • Try biofeedback. Biofeedback may also help or reduce tinnitus in some patients.