Tinnitus: Characteristics, Causes and Cures

Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from the (often) debilitating condition called Tinnitus? Are you aware that help is available? The first thing that you need is INFORMATION. In particular you are no doubt interested in learning more about the characteristics (symptoms), causes and possible cures, so let’s get right into it . . . What are You Hearing? Some Characteristics of Tinnitus First of all, it is possible to hear those strange sounds in your head, either some of the time or all of the time. Those who hear these sounds all of the time seem to struggle most, as it can interfere with their daily routine, work and most especially their sleep. Secondly, you may seem to hear sounds and noises either from one ear or from both ears. With some, the sounds may be heard in both ears but may be softer (or louder) in one ear than the other. This can alternate back-and-forth, from one ear to the other. The types of “sounds” and “noises” which are “heard” can vary as well. Everything from human voices, to natural sounds like ocean waves, bees buzzing to industrial-type sounds have been reported. It is most common to hear chirping, ringing, buzzing, clicking, steady tones, whooshing, sizzling sounds in either one or both ears. Tinnitus is one of those medical conditions which is very subjective, personal and individual. Cause of Tinnitus — It May Not Be Just That Loud Music It is important to understand that if you have Tinnitus the probability is high that you also have some sort of true hearing loss. Audiologists have long known that people suffering from Tinnitus cannot hear sounds at the same frequency as the sounds they report hearing in their heads. At extremely loud levels, Tinnitus can cause you to feel tired all the time, irritable and even depressed — and especially when it is continuous. There are many possible causes of Tinnitus. Among them are surely damage and trauma to the ear due to continuous playing of loud music, or from working for long periods every day in a very noisy environment. But there can be other causes as well: Improper hygiene resulting in ear infections and a build-up of ear wax can cause distortions in your hearing. Medications like Quinidine or even over-the-counter drugs like aspirin can bring on Tinnitus. In fact, there are hundreds of medications, compounds, substances and chemicals which have been reported as possible causal agents. Finally, hearing loss associated with growing older (presbycusis) and Meniere’s disease can trigger Tinnitus. Can Tinnitus Be Cured? Can your Tinnitus be cured? People vary a great deal with this medical condition, and only your doctor can advise you about possible treatments and if it will be possible to be “cured” of Tinnitus. A great variety of treatments for Tinnitus have been tried, giving relief to some. Again, your doctor is your best source of information, but you might want to ask them about these possible treatment options — Thorough cleaning of the ear passage (for mucous and earwax build-up) Prescription medications: Melatonin, Lidocaine injections, Carbamazepine Nutritional therapy: Zinc, lipoflavonoids Regulation of caffeine, nicotine and salt intake Electrical therapy, nerve stimulation, sound treatments Surgery (when necessary to repair tissue damage)