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05.01.2014

What causes ringing in the right ear, tinnitus linked to depression - .

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Constant stress — whether from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or heavy workload — can have real physical effects on the body. If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion. If a growth or mole looks like a melanoma, the doctor will take a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Some people don't have a health care power of attorney or living will because they don't realize how important these documents are. 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. 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. 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. 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. A ringing sound in the ear is a common symptom of tinnitusQ: I have a constant ringing sound in my right ear, which can be annoying, especially when I am in a very quiet room. It can also be related to inner ear disorders resulting from infection, trauma, loud noise exposure, medications and tumours in the pathway of the auditory nervous system. For the majority of these patients with pulsatile tinnitus, the physicians are not able to hear the sound through auscultation of the head and neck with the stethoscope and generally, no cause is found on X-ray imaging.
Another group of patients with audible pulsatile tinnitus (sounds which the physician can hear following auscultation) would require radiographic imaging to exclude small dural arterio-venous fistulas (abnormal connection or passageway between two vessels that normally do not connect) or vascular brain tumours. For many others for whom the cause of the tinnitus is not found on physical examination and even after various investigations, such as magnetic resonance imaging scans to exclude important treatable inner ear conditions, basic counselling, tips on how to avoid silence and the use of enriched environmental sounds can help. Advanced Care PlanningTake this opportunity to ask our experts on what advance care planning is all about, as well as the other directives. 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. Quinine and some of the other anti-malarial drugs can occasionally cause damage to the ear when given in high or prolonged doses, such as in the treatment of malaria.
Outside of avoiding ototoxic medications and quinine, the best treatment for tinnitus is prevention.
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 the perception of an insistent, unpleasant ringing, buzzing or other consistent noise, located in or near the skull but without a definable external source. Tinnitus is often perceived as a ringing or persistent high tone very close to or within the ear. Tinnitus is often regarded as a symptom of auditory conditions, such as damage to the tissues in the ear that control the perception of tones and frequencies.


An increasing number of researchers argue that tinnitus is a disorder of the connections between the inner ear and certain areas of the brain.
Some scientists had developed a theory that tinnitus was associated with deficiencies in vitamin B12. Chronic inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media) may also be associated with some cases of tinnitus. Tinnitus related to otitis media may be improved by surgery to correct damage caused by this inflammation.
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. Some patients can be affected to the point of developing sleep disturbances coupled with anxiety and depression. The remainder of patients will still hear the noise but they get used to this, while a minority (5 per cent) will need medical help to cope. The patient with audible pulsatile tinnitus needs early management and treatment before further complications set in.
Removing the ear wax will help those who have tinnitus arising from blocked external ear canals. It is a directed counselling therapy and utilises enriched environmental sounds or noise generators to train the brain to adapt to the tinnitus. These vibrations are then converted to electrical signals by cells at the hair's base, form a neural feedback loop which is regulated by the brain. This damage can cause hearing loss and a small number of the affected people develop tinnitus as a consequence of this hearing loss.
It is not considered to be a condition in its own right, but a syndrome or symptom related to many forms of auditory damage or disorder. Age-related hearing impairments, or disorders of the circulatory system around the ear, may also be related to this complaint. Some scientists conclude that tinnitus is in fact related to damage of the nervous tissue in or around the auditory cortex of the brain.
A recent study including 100 patients with tinnitus found that 63 of these had low vitamin B12 levels. As the natural molecule histamine is associated with the regulation of both inflammation and some auditory nervous tissue, drugs that block its receptors in the brain are currently proposed as treatments for tinnitus.
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. 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. I am a 60-year-old man and I use a hearing aid in my right ear when I conduct training sessions. This has been reported to be present in 17 per cent of the general population and increases to 30 per cent in those more than 65 years old.
We generally do not hear these sound energies as our external sound environment will invariably mask them.


Most patients in the acute stage of tinnitus will complain of annoyance, impact on their lifestyle and difficulty coping in quiet environments, especially at night, when the tinnitus sound is magnified due to the absence of ambient noise. In this group of patients, they hear simple, pure tone sounds such as buzzing, cricket noises or high-pitched sounds or a combination of these.
When this is due to sudden hearing loss with no known cause, a trial of steroids, antiviral medications or antioxidant treatments has been reported to improve the hearing and, subsequently, the tinnitus. This neural loop normally allows us to pick up very faint and distant sounds by detecting subtle changes in the vibrations of various hairs. In the rare cases where people on these low doses of quinine do report tinnitus it is temporary and ceases as soon as they discontinue the medication. This group is known as the aminoglycoside antibiotics and includes streptomycin and gentamicin (Selimoglu 2007).
Others have found associations between increased activity in further brain regions, age of tinnitus onset and distress caused by the syndrome. However, treating this deficiency had no significant effects on the complaint in these patients. Other new and emerging treatments for tinnitus focus on the potential indicated by the studies into its links with abnormal brain activity, as mentioned earlier. 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.
These patients have to be distinguished from a more common group of patients who suffer from schizophrenia.
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.
These drugs are not available as tablets, syrups or other oral preparations and are generally given by injection in hospital for severe, life threatening infections. Tinnitus may have a significant negative impact on the life quality of those affected by it.
Different research groups have concluded that chronic tinnitus may be associated with an impaired connection between the cerebral cortex, which controls advanced functions such as memory, perception of the environment and cognition, and the thalamus, which supplies the cortex with sensory information.
Presuming further research confirms the findings of these studies, deep brain stimulation (a form of implant placed in the brain to correct this activity) may be a viable option for severe treatment-resistant 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. Tinnitus can be a side effect of many medications, especially when taken at higher doses (see "Some drugs that can cause or worsen tinnitus"). Another group of patients hear repeated tapping noises because of middle ear myoclonus, a condition that results from twitching of the middle ear muscles. 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. I have checked with a doctor and he has found nothing wrong with the ear, but has suggested that I see a specialist.
To quote Professor Pawel Jastreboff, the founder of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy: it results from the brain over-compensating for the presence of a small irregularity in the functioning of the cochlea or auditory nerve. Yet others will hear a rhythmic sound, in time with their heartbeat, defined as pulsatile tinnitus.
This syndrome may also have deleterious effects on the emotional, psychological and functional status of the patient.



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