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21.11.2014

Tinnitus worse in left ear, am i depressed or bipolar - Review

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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.


Not all insurance companies cover tinnitus treatments in the same way, so be sure to check your coverage.
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. 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). 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. I panicked because I thought I'd gone deaf," he says.Mild tinnitus affects about 10 per cent of the population and in older people can be caused by natural hearing loss. 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.
Ear infections, glue ear or a build up of earwax and conditions such as otosclerosis or Meniere's disease can also be responsible for it.In younger people tinnitus can be triggered by exposure to loud noises that damage the inner ear. 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.
I could never cancel it out completely."Nathan returned to work on a fruit and vegetable stall in his home town of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.



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