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19.11.2014

Hearing ringing sounds, tinnitus its causes diagnosis and treatment - How to DIY

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When you think of risk factors for hearing loss, over-the-counter pain relievers probably aren't among them.
Constant noise in the head -- such as ringing in the ears -- rarely indicates a serious health problem, but it sure can be annoying. Tinnitus (pronounced tih-NITE-us or TIN-ih-tus) is sound in the head with no external source. Sound waves travel through the ear canal to the middle and inner ear, where hair cells in part of the cochlea help transform sound waves into electrical signals that then travel to the brain's auditory cortex via the auditory nerve.
Most people who seek medical help for tinnitus experience it as subjective, constant sound, and most have some degree of hearing loss. 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.
If you're often exposed to loud noises at work or at home, it's important to reduce the risk of hearing loss (or further hearing loss) by using protectors such as earplugs or earmuff-like or custom-fitted devices. The most effective approaches are behavioral strategies and sound-generating devices, often used in combination.
These conditions can include ear infections, an obstruction of the ear canal (either wax or foreign objects like earwigs), age-related hearing loss, stress, nasal infections, abnormal growth of the ear bones, blood vessel disorders, a wide variety of neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis or Meniere's disease. The most common cause, though, is prolonged exposure to excessive noice (above 70 dB; think vacuum cleaner and louder) without sufficient hearing protection. Your inner ear's cochlea is lined with thousands of fine, hair-like cells that vibrate when exposed to sound waves. For those that already suffer from Tinnitus, there is no FDA-approved medication available to treat it, though treating the underlying cause often relieves the ringing. Tinnitus is a ringing or swishing noise in one or both ears that originates inside the ear or head.


Hair cells in the cochlea transform sound waves into electrical signals that travel to the brain's auditory cortex. I’m a DJ, being doing it for the past 5 years now, however when I leave a DJ set now I do get ringing in my ears, maybe lasting for a few hours or so, getting rather concerned as it does seem to be last a little longer every time I DJ.
For many, it's a ringing sound, while for others, it's whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking.
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. 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.
In fact, an estimated 90 percent of tinnitus sufferers also experience some degree of noise-induced hearing loss.
This damage can cause hearing loss and a small number of the affected people develop tinnitus as a consequence of this hearing loss. For example, if you have a heart murmur, you may hear a whooshing sound with every heartbeat; your clinician can also hear that sound through a stethoscope. This stimulates abnormal activity in the neurons, which results in the illusion of sound, or tinnitus. Our bodies normally produce sounds (called somatic sounds) that we usually don't notice because we are listening to external sounds. She or he will also ask you to describe the noise you're hearing (including its pitch and sound quality, and whether it's constant or periodic, steady or pulsatile) and the times and places in which you hear it.
If you have age-related hearing loss, a hearing aid can often make tinnitus less noticeable by amplifying outside sounds. This neural loop normally allows us to pick up very faint and distant sounds by detecting subtle changes in the vibrations of various hairs. But as many as 50 million Americans have chronic tinnitus (pronounced tih-NITE-us or TIN-ih-tus)—a constant ringing, whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking.


If money is no issue, you can buy devices worn like hearing aids that generate low-level white noise. They respond by generating abnormal activity, which results in the illusion of sound, which is tinnitus.
The main components of TRT are individual counseling (to explain the auditory system, how tinnitus develops, and how TRT can help) and sound therapy.
Although there's not enough evidence from randomized trials to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of masking, hearing experts often recommend a trial of simple masking strategies (such as setting a radio at low volume between stations) before they turn to more expensive options.
But when these hairs are damaged or killed by repeated loud noise exposure, the underlying neurons remain active, sending a false signal to the brain that there is incoming sound when there really isn't. Although there isn’t enough evidence from randomized trials to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of masking, hearing experts often recommend it before turning to more expensive options such as cognitive behavioral therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy, biofeedback and stress management, and transcutaneous electrical stimulation of parts of the inner ear.
As many as 50 to 60 million people in the United States suffer from this condition; it's especially common in people over age 55 and strongly associated with hearing loss.
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. A 2010 review of six studies by the Cochrane Collaboration (an international group of health authorities who evaluate randomized trials) found that after CBT, the sound was no less loud, but it was significantly less bothersome, and patients' quality of life improved. 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. For patients with hearing loss, state-of-the-art hearing aids and tinnitus treatment solutions are available.



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