A Detailed Tinnitus Discussion
What Is Tinnitus? (Ringing İn Ears) This page is intended to help you get to grips with what this condition known as tinnitus really is, what you can do about it and even learn to live comfortably with tinnitus.
I am always intrigued by the amount of emails and telephone calls we get every day from traumatized tinnitus sufferers who have just learned about the condition by their doctors or ENT’s.
Many of these conversations have one central message, they ask “what is tinnitus?” and are told that tinnitus is permanent, there is no tinnitus cure and they simply “live with it!”
They are bluntly told “there is nothing one can do about tinnitus”, “there are no tinnitus cures”, etc. etc. but very little is explained about the condition.
Most often they are simply fobbed off with some anti-depressants and told to “get on with it.”
Little wonder then that these shell shocked people end up getting anxiety and panic attacks, (which obviously aggravate the tinnitus) and end up far too stressed as a result of lack of sleep, worry and those horrible continual noises that just never seem to go away.
The problem of course is that as one becomes more stressed, the more the tinnitus increases in volume and intensity.
To compound the problem, many doctors prescribe treatment for tinnitus that can often exacerbate the problem instead of easing it!
- As mentioned above doctors often prescribe anti-depressant drugs as a tinnitus treatment but many of these drugs they prescribe actually list tinnitus as a side effect!
- Imagine the depression that results if the treatments that your doctor prescribed actually end up making the tinnitus worse!
So where do YOU go from here?
Many people having been told there are no cure for tinnitus and tried some prescription medication that ends up making their symptoms far worse, end up in what we refer to as the classic tinnitus cycle.
They come to believe that there is no way out of the tinnitus spiral!
This is certainly NOT the case at all!
With a little understanding of what tinnitus is…
- what causes it
- how you can cope with it
- how to treat it…
….comes a relieving of the stress, your sleep patterns revert to normal and life starts getting back to normal again.
- This is not to say there is a cure for tinnitus, it is an established fact that there are no cures for tinnitus, but if you can identify the tinnitus cause, there is much you can do to relieve tinnitus.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is best described as the perception of noise in the absence of any acoustic stimulus.
In plain English, you start hearing ringing or chirping type noises that seem to come from the middle of your head or deep inside your ears, but there are just no real noises around.
When you hear those noises, be they a ringing in your ears, whistling, hissing or roaring noises in the ears, you are experiencing tinnitus. These noises, which every one experiences somewhat differently, are subjective. i.e. only you can hear them.
The noises cannot be heard by anyone else and NO, you are not going crazy!
Tinnitus is experienced by most people at some time in their lives, but some 17% of the general population suffer quite severely from tinnitus. About 12 million Americans are so severely affected by tinnitus that they are unable to function normally i.e. they are unable to live normal lives, go to work, just can’t sleep, and suffer severely from stress and anxiety.
It is estimated that up to 66 million Americans suffer from tinnitus of some sort.
Tinnitus Types – What Is Tinnitus? (Ringing İn Ears)
Objective tinnitus can be heard by the physician or other people and is not very common.
Subjective tinnitus is far more common than objective tinnitus and is the type of tinnitus that is more difficult to treat.
Major Tinnitus Causes
- There are many factors that can trigger or aggravate tinnitus but cochlea damage tinnitus is the most common.
Tinnitus caused from exposure to noise (cochlea damage tinnitus)
By far the great majority of tinnitus sufferers have somehow damaged the delicate structures of the inner ear, resulting in damage to the cochlea, the cochlear nerve, the ascending auditory pathway, or the auditory cortex.
When the cochlear hair cells are injured by exposure to noise or head trauma, they discharge repetitively, thereby stimulating the nerve fibers to discharge synchronously in a way that the central auditory system cannot discriminate from actual sound.
This can be likened to a switch being left in the on position. i.e. Those hairs that are damaged are permanently in the “on” position, resulting in a continuous stream of perceived sounds being generated.
|The image and animation below visually illustrate cochlea damage tinnitus|
|The illustration below shows a cross section of the Organ of Corti in the Cochlea.These are some of the 15,000 microscopic sensory hair cells which are very fragile and are easily damaged when subjected to sudden loud noises or are exposed to noise over a long period.When the movement of the tiny bones in the middle ear vibrate the oval window of the cochlea, waves are created in the fluid surrounding the cochlea.These waves bend the basilar membrane in place corresponding to specific frequencies. Hair cells in those places then brush against the overlying tectorial membrane (shown in blue) generating an electrical impulse which gets sent to the brain. The brain interprets those electrical impulses as sound.The nerve endings are shown in yellow in the illustration. When the tiny hairs and nerve endings become damaged as a result of exposure to noise, tinnitus often results.|
Other tinnitus causes – What Is Tinnitus? (Ringing İn Ears)
Tinnitus that is caused from sinus problems
Sinusitis and allergy sufferers also frequently suffer from tinnitus. This tinnitus “type” is caused from blocked Eustachian tubes, which results in a pressure buildup in the inner ear.
This condition is normally caused by prolonged taking of anti-histamines and antibiotics which can cause a thickening of the mucous in the inner ear.
Excess inner ear mucous would normally simply drain out through the Eustachian tubes but is prevented from doing so because it has become too thick to drain out of the very narrow Eustachian tubes.
Tinnitus from stress or traumatic life events
Another major cause of tinnitus is a long continued exposure to stress or traumatic events such as the death of a loved one.
Thyroid dysfunction is definitely associated with tinnitus. When the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone, this is a condition known as Hyperthyroidism. These additional hormones have a direct effect on most bodily organs, including the heart which beats faster and harder under the influence of thyroid hormones.
Hyperthyroidism, by increasing cardiac output, can cause a pulsatile or rushing noise.
Vitamin A and/or B12 deficiency has been described as causing tinnitus.
Other tinnitus causes
Another cause of tinnitus is presbycusis (hearing loss that occurs as people age).
Hearing loss is the single most consistent factor in people with tinnitus. As a rule the tinnitus will occur at the same frequencies as the hearing loss.
Tinnitus from prescription drugs and over the counter medications.
Many prescription medications list tinnitus as a side effect. These include anti-malarials, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and antidepressants.
Aspirin and aspirin-containing compounds were identified as the most common inciting medications. As little as 600 to 1000 mm/day of aspirin can create symptoms. Aspirin-containing medications, such as Percodan, Darvon, Bufferin, or Ecotrin, are often overlooked as possible causes of tinnitus.
A golden rule here is to read the literature supplied with your prescription carefully. If you notice the onset of tinnitus after starting a course of drugs, or after you have changed to a different brand of drug, then it is most likely that medication that is causing the tinnitus as a side effect.
More tinnitus causes – What Is Tinnitus? (Ringing İn Ears)
Many types of head surgery, included dental surgery such as root canal treatments also play a major role in causing tinnitus. This is normally associated with cochlear damage as a result of the noises you are exposed to during the procedure.
Heavy metal poisoning from fillings in the teeth are also a very common cause of tinnitus. This generally occurs when one is replacing old fillings.
Treatment of tinnitus
The most important thing to do is to narrow down the possible causes of your tinnitus. Once you have established fairly conclusively what the ROOT CAUSE of the tinnitus is, then it becomes far easier to deal with and there are various tinnitus remedies available to help you.
As detailed above your tinnitus is most likely to be caused by one of the following and if you give it a bit of thought you can generally pinpoint the exact cause of your tinnitus simply by perusing the summary below. Once a cause of tinnitus has been established picking a t-gone tinnitus remedy is logically the next step.
Tinnitus causes – What Is Tinnitus? (Ringing İn Ears)
95% of all instances of tinnitus are as a result of only 3 causes
- This occurs from exposure to loud noises, a blow to the head, any type of surgery to head including dental work and inner ear infections.
- Exposure to long periods of stress, as well as traumatic live events such as the death of loved one is also a major cause of tinnitus.
- Sinus and allergies are also responsible for many cases of tinnitus.
The tinnitus causes listed in the points above are responsible for over 95% of all cases of tinnitus that we have dealt with over the last 15 years and you are almost certain to find that one of these three will be the cause of your problems with tinnitus.
There is a 90% chance that your tinnitus is caused by cochlear damage, probably from exposure to noise, ear infections, dental surgery or the natural aging process. Many cochlear damage tinnitus sufferers also have been involved in motor accidents and have had a sharp blow to the head which is what has caused the damage to those delicate inner ear organs, resulting in high frequency hearing loss and tinnitus.
It is indeed possible to find natural treatments for tinnitus to eliminate or at worst to help lower the levels of tinnitus noises caused by the three causes as listed above.
Experience has shown us that natural homeopathic tinnitus treatment remedies are having the most success in lowering these tinnitus levels.