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03.02.2015

Causes of worsening tinnitus, drugs against tinnitus - Within Minutes

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Tinnitus (pronounced ti-ni-tis), or ringing in the ears, is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds. Although tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, it does not cause the loss, nor does a hearing loss cause tinnitus. Some instances of tinnitus are caused by infections or blockages in the ear, and the tinnitus can disappear once the underlying cause is treated. Certain drugs -- most notably aspirin, several types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, sedatives, and antidepressants, as well as quinine medications; tinnitus is cited as a potential side effect for about 200 prescription and nonprescription drugs.
Tinnitus can worsen in some people if they drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, drink caffeinated beverages, or eat certain foods. Tinnitus (pronounced tih-NITE-us or TIN-ih-tus) is sound in the head with no external source. Almost everyone has had tinnitus for a short time after being exposed to extremely loud noise. While there's no cure for chronic tinnitus, it often becomes less noticeable and more manageable over time. Most people who seek medical help for tinnitus experience it as subjective, constant sound, and most have some degree of hearing loss. Tinnitus can arise anywhere along the auditory pathway, from the outer ear through the middle and inner ear to the brain's auditory cortex, where it's thought to be encoded (in a sense, imprinted).
Most tinnitus is "sensorineural," meaning that it's due to hearing loss at the cochlea or cochlear nerve level. Tinnitus that's continuous, steady, and high-pitched (the most common type) generally indicates a problem in the auditory system and requires hearing tests conducted by an audiologist.
Your general health can affect the severity and impact of tinnitus, so this is also a good time to take stock of your diet, physical activity, sleep, and stress level — and take steps to improve them.
In addition to treating associated problems (such as depression or insomnia), there are several strategies that can help make tinnitus less bothersome. There is no FDA-approved drug treatment for tinnitus, and controlled trials have not found any drug, supplement, or herb to be any more effective than a placebo. Not all insurance companies cover tinnitus treatments in the same way, so be sure to check your coverage. TreatmentTo treat your tinnitus, your doctor will first try toidentify any underlying, treatable condition that may beassociated with your symptoms. In fact, some people with tinnitus experience no difficulty hearing, and in a few cases they even become so acutely sensitive to sound (hyperacusis) that they must take steps to muffle or mask external noises.
For reasons not yet entirely clear to researchers, stress and fatigue seem to worsen tinnitus. But ringing in the ears that does not get better or go away is an ear condition called tinnitus.


Things that cause hearing loss (and tinnitus) include loud noise, medications that damage the nerves in the ear (ototoxic drugs), impacted earwax, middle ear problems (such as infections and vascular tumors), and aging. One of the most common causes of tinnitus is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea (see "Auditory pathways and tinnitus"). Pulsatile tinnitus calls for a thorough evaluation by an otolaryngologist (commonly called an ear, nose, and throat specialist, or ENT) or neurotologist, especially if the noise is frequent or constant. You may also be able to reduce the impact of tinnitus by treating depression, anxiety, insomnia, and pain with medications or psychotherapy. CBT uses techniques such as cognitive restructuring and relaxation to change the way patients think about and respond to tinnitus.
Masking devices, worn like hearing aids, generate low-level white noise (a high-pitched hiss, for example) that can reduce the perception of tinnitus and sometimes also produce residual inhibition — less noticeable tinnitus for a short time after the masker is turned off. Other treatments that have been studied for tinnitus include transcutaneous electrical stimulation of parts of the inner ear by way of electrodes placed on the skin or acupuncture needles, and stimulation of the brain using a powerful magnetic field (a technique called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS). In many cases, an exact cause is never found0 A common cause of tinnitus is inner ear cell damage. If tinnitus is due to ahealth condition, your doctor may be able to take stepsthat could reduce the noise. In severe cases, however, tinnitus can cause people to have difficulty concentrating and sleeping.
The noise causes permanent damage to the sound-sensitive cells of the cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ in the inner ear. Some medications (especially aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken in high doses) can cause tinnitus that goes away when the drug is discontinued. This stimulates abnormal activity in the neurons, which results in the illusion of sound, or tinnitus. Tinnitus can also be a symptom of Mnire's disease, a disorder of the balance mechanism in the inner ear. If you have age-related hearing loss, a hearing aid can often make tinnitus less noticeable by amplifying outside sounds. The aim is to habituate the auditory system to the tinnitus signals, making them less noticeable or less bothersome. Many people can hear their heartbeat — a phenomenon called pulsatile tinnitus — especially as they grow older, because blood flow tends to be more turbulent in arteries whose walls have stiffened with age. The main components of TRT are individual counseling (to explain the auditory system, how tinnitus develops, and how TRT can help) and sound therapy. Individual studies have reported improvements in as many as 80% of patients with high-pitched tinnitus. In two small trials, rTMS compared with a sham procedure helped improve the perception of tinnitus in a few patients.


The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss that occurs with aging, but it can also be caused by living or working around loud noises. Pulsatile tinnitus may be more noticeable at night, when you're lying in bed, because more blood is reaching your head, and there are fewer external sounds to mask the tinnitus.
The resulting electrical noise takes the form of tinnitus — a sound that is high-pitched if hearing loss is in the high-frequency range and low-pitched if it's in the low-frequency range.
Tinnitus can be a side effect of many medications, especially when taken at higher doses (see "Some drugs that can cause or worsen tinnitus"). A device is inserted in the ear to generate low-level noise and environmental sounds that match the pitch, volume, and quality of the patient's tinnitus. In a Cochrane review of the one randomized trial that followed Jastreboff's protocol and met the organization's standards, TRT was much more effective in reducing tinnitus severity and disability than a technique called masking (see below). Many people worry that tinnitus is a sign that they are going deaf or have another serious medical problem, but it rarely is. If you notice any new pulsatile tinnitus, you should consult a clinician, because in rare cases it is a sign of a tumor or blood vessel damage. This kind of tinnitus resembles phantom limb pain in an amputee — the brain is producing abnormal nerve signals to compensate for missing input. Hearing loss treatments depend on the cause and include hearing aids, sound-amplifying devices, and antibiotics if the cause is an infection. No loud noise trauma had preceded the tinnitus, as it does for some sufferers — it was suddenly just there.
There are a variety of causes of hearing loss besides congenital hearing loss, including ear infections, genetic disorders, illnesses that trigger hearing loss, head injuries, medications, and more.
Of the 50 million Americans who experience tinnitus at some point in their lives and the 16 million who are bothered enough to seek help, 2 million have it to a degree so severe that it’s debilitating, according to the American Tinnitus Association.
Rauschecker believes that many understand tinnitus backwards, assuming a causal relationship between the tinnitus and the behavioral problems so common among patients with the condition, as if tinnitus was the cause, and the depression, anxiety and insomnia, the effect.
Using state-of-the-art MRI scanners to peer deep inside the brains of tinnitus patients, Cheung and his team have managed to pinpoint an important source of the phantom noise. His team has developed a five-step program that includes audiology testing and evaluations, the use of external sounds to manage tinnitus, and cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches coping techniques. She has since developed a mindfulness program for tinnitus, modeled after techniques used for chronic pain.



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