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26.04.2015

Is there a cure for ringing in the ears, how to get rid of ringing in ears from a cold - How to DIY

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If you subscribe to any of our print newsletters and have never activated your online account, please activate your account below for online access. Constant stress — whether from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or heavy workload — can have real physical effects on the body. For years, experts recommended low-fat diets as a way to lower cholesterol and heart disease risk.
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When you think of risk factors for hearing loss, over-the-counter pain relievers probably aren't among them.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more common in men in middle age, but the range of treatments means most men can find something that works for them.
A study found that one in 10 people who take protective aspirin may not really qualify, because the risk of heart attacks and strokes wasn't great enough to justify the risk of unwanted bleeding associated with aspirin.
When shopping for shoes, you want to have more than fashion in mind — you'll also want to consider function and keeping your feet in good shape. 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. 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.
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.
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. Musculoskeletal factors — jaw clenching, tooth grinding, prior injury, or muscle tension in the neck — sometimes make tinnitus more noticeable, so your clinician may ask you to tighten muscles or move the jaw or neck in certain ways to see if the sound changes.
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. 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.
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. The most effective approaches are behavioral strategies and sound-generating devices, often used in combination. Not all insurance companies cover tinnitus treatments in the same way, so be sure to check your coverage. Tinnitus, a condition that causes people to hear sounds such as ringing in the ears even when all is quiet, afflicts at least 10 percent of American adults. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Welcome to the Scientific American Blog Network, a forum for a diverse and independent set of voices to share news and opinions and discuss issues related to science. The medical term used for this condition is tinnitus and it is defined as a feeling or perception of sound in the ears without presence of external sound source. The tinnitus phenomenon is not yet explored well and there are a lot of doctors that suggest that tinnitus cannot be treated but that is completely wrong.
We have mentioned that there are certain therapies that can help with tinnitus and it is worth mentioning that one particular therapy is getting really popular among patients suffering from tinnitus and that’s Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. Sound Therapy or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is based on the assumption that tinnitus is caused by abnormal neuronal activity. The second part of the tinnitus retraining therapy is the sound therapy (sometimes the whole therapy is called like that). Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is relatively new method of curing tinnitus but it is also one of the fastest growing methods if we look at the number patients practicing it.
If you choose to take part in tinnitus retraining therapy and feel the positive effects you need to be determined and disciplined because this therapy requires following some strict rules.
In the last issue of our newsletter, we discussed the history and recent advances in Tinnitus Masking.
The expectation was that by describing the tinnitus exactly in terms of pitch and loudness, different categories would be established and specific treatments could be applied to each category with predictable outcomes. Approximately 75% of all the people who experience tinnitus are not affected by it and they treat tinnitus like any other sound to which they can easily habituate.
The researchers found there is no difference in the acoustical characteristics of tinnitus between those who are not bothered by it and those who suffer from it!


To understand how tinnitus develops, it’s helpful to understand how sound is processed in the auditory pathways. This processing of information results in continuous changes of the connections within the brain that are involved in transmitting signals from the ear to the cortex.
This is the basis of TRT, training the brain to habituate tinnitus sounds and classifying them to represent a neutral, insignificant signal. For many, it's a ringing sound, while for others, it's whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking. You can help ease the symptoms by educating yourself about the condition — for example, understanding that it's not dangerous. When hair cells are damaged — by loud noise or ototoxic drugs, for example — the circuits in the brain don't receive the signals they're expecting.
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"). She or he will take a medical history, give you a physical examination, and do a series of tests to try to find the source of the problem. 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. No single approach works for everyone, and you may need to try various combinations of techniques before you find what works for you. 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). Although there's nothing doctors can do to alleviate this discomfort permanently, new approaches to treating the problem are in the works. Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. However there are people who are experiencing this annoying constant buzzing in the ears during the whole day. There are many remedies and therapies that you can find even online that can help tinnitus sufferers. This part involves playing low level broadband sounds and noises which gradually lowers the difference between tinnitus-caused sounds and local neuronal activity. This issue will delve into a neurophysiological approach to reducing tinnitus symptoms called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). Instead of the expected results, however, researchers found something completely unexpected and very surprising. They hear it similar to the way we hear the sound of the refrigerator in our kitchen, of which we are not normally aware and when we do hear the sound, it is not bothersome. The processing of information occurs on several levels for each sensory system, each level contributing to the final stage when a signal reaches the cortex.
The auditory system is closely connected with the part of the brain that controls emotions (limbic system) and the automatic response of the body to danger (autonomic nervous system). Connections within the nervous system are continuously modified, resulting in the enhancement of significant signals and a decrease of neuronal response to irrelevant signals. Sounds that are new, or associated with a negative experience, are treated as significant, evoke an emotional response that triggers the body to “fight or flight.” The repetition of these sounds results in enhancement of their perception and in a resistance of the perception to be suppressed by other signals. In the absence of noticeable sound levels there is still a high level of neuronal activity in the auditory nerve and pathway, but this activity is random. Repeated activations by a sound not associated with anything of significance will result in decreased activation of the cortical and limbic areas. 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.
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. In about 10% of cases, the condition interferes with everyday life so much that medical help and psychotherapy are needed. 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. 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. The aim is to habituate the auditory system to the tinnitus signals, making them less noticeable or less bothersome.
Today, the term TRT is being used to describe modified versions of this therapy, and the variations make accurate assessment of its effectiveness difficult.
A specialized device isn't always necessary for masking; often, playing music or having a radio, fan, or white-noise machine on in the background is enough. One of the latest is a sound-therapy device designed to produce unique tones that distract the wearer's brain from more irritating sounds. According to some researchers there are over 10% of adults that are suffering from some form of tinnitus and the most vulnerable categories are older people and male population. The thing is that not all people develop tinnitus for the same reasons so maybe some of these treatments are more effective for certain group of people while they are not that successful for other group of people.


This practice over time decreases the effects of tinnitus and it helps the body stop the tinnitus signals thanks to our sub consciousness. Jastreboff developed his model of tinnitus which postulates the involvement of the limbic (emotional) and autonomic nervous systems in the perception of tinnitus.
On the other hand, sound associated with a significant event, particularly related to danger, will be enhanced and will strongly activate the cortical areas and emotional response.
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.
If the auditory pathways or circuits in the brain don't receive the signals they're expecting from the cochlea, the brain in effect "turns up the gain" on those pathways in an effort to detect the signal — in much the same way that you turn up the volume on a car radio when you're trying to find a station's signal.
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. Electrodes attached to the skin feed information about physiological processes such as pulse, skin temperature, and muscle tension into a computer, which displays the output on a monitor. In two small trials, rTMS compared with a sham procedure helped improve the perception of tinnitus in a few patients. One thing is for sure – people suffering from tinnitus have troubles ignoring the problem, because it distracts their thoughts, their focus and sleep and they will do anything to get rid of that awful feeling. This means that the person performing this therapy explains the patient how the therapy works. His research began with the ongoing effort at that time to describe the acoustics of tinnitus.
When we are exposed to a measurable amount of sound the activity within the auditory system increases and becomes more regular and synchronized. Our brain sorts sounds according to their significance, giving important sounds high priority and filtering out, or habituating, insignificant sounds. The patient is taught the basic function of the auditory system and the brain relative to tinnitus.
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.
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). Patients learn how to alter these processes and reduce the body's stress response by changing their thoughts and feelings. This counseling is tailored for each patient individually, it is intensive and most importantly it includes interaction. This activity undergoes extensive processing in several subcortical centers within the auditory pathways before reaching the cortex where perception of sound occurs. The rules controlling sorting priorities are in flux and change throughout an individual’s lifetime. The sound generators are operated at a low enough level that the tinnitus can still be detected. Jastreboff claims that he has treated about 1,000 patients in his clinic at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and that 80% of these have experienced significant improvement. Many people worry that tinnitus is a sign that they are going deaf or have another serious medical problem, but it rarely is.
This kind of tinnitus resembles phantom limb pain in an amputee — the brain is producing abnormal nerve signals to compensate for missing input. The tones are customized for each patient based on that person's specific level of tinnitus, although the reprieve is temporary, experienced only when the Serenade is in use.Reports of tinnitus are rising because of widespread use of personal entertainment and communication devices, particularly in children, according to researchers at the University of California at Irvine's Hearing Research Center, where Serenade was first developed. It is very important for the patient to understand what the cause of this problem is in order to fix it. TRT postulates that with the proper training one can enhance their perception of some sounds while training their brain to filter out other sounds. Broad band sound contains all frequencies which gently stimulate the nerve cells in the subconscious networks allowing them to be more easily reprogrammed, or habituated, to no longer notice the tinnitus. In a paper published online in April by the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the researchers, who describe tinnitus as a "brain disorder," said their device was most effective when the volume was set at a level just softer than the sounds produced by tinnitus (pdf). Tinnitus is also the most common disability among Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, according to the U.S. Once at the membrane the device (essentially a polymer capsule, although Draper is not developing any of medicines that might be placed inside) would release a drug into the cochlea, the tubular organ residing in the inner ear that enables us to hear. The plan is to embed wireless communications into the capsule so that a patient or doctor can control the dosage.




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