Tinnitus – Ringing of ears
What is Tinnitus?
Once diagnosed with tinnitus people usually jump to thetreatment of this condition. However, knowing and understandingthis condition is as important as the treatment.
Firstly, it must be made clear that tinnitus is not a disorderor a disease in fact it is a symptom of any underlying condition.These conditions include circulatory disorders, hearing problems,or ear injury.
Tinnitus is mainly defined as the ringing of ears or perceptionof sound without any stimulus. In this condition, you might hearsome sounds like ringing, humming, grinding, roaring, buzzing,hissing, chirping, clicking, and whistling.
These sounds are either continuous or intermittent which meansthat you might experience the ringing of ears in episodes orcontinuously for a long period of time. Usually, the loudness andfrequency of sounds fluctuate.
They are loudest when you are somewhere quiet especially beforesleeping at night. The ringing of ears also disturbs the quality ofsleep. Tinnitus is a disturbing condition that is oftenassociated with either already underlying medical conditions likehearing loss and ear injuries or it generates new conditions in thesufferer such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
A person with tinnitus often complains of loud sounds becausethey readily grow insensitive to them. Chronic and persistent oracute and temporary, tinnitus must be given seriousattention.
Types of Tinnitus
There are two types of tinnitus;
This is the most common type of tinnitus. In this type, only youcan hear the sounds in your ear while others cannot. The buzzing,humming and grinding voices are perceived by you only.
This is the rarest type of tinnitus. In this type, not only youbut others can also hear the sounds in your hearing.
The sounds don’t radiate out of your ear but upon closelylistening to your ear others can hear sounds. Usually, doctors usea stethoscope for this purpose. People who have heart murmurusually present with whooshing sounds in their ears. Those peoplewho smoke and drink alcohol are at a higher risk. Also, men aremore prone to develop this condition than women.
Who is at risk?
Already 15-20% of people are experiencing tinnitus. 50 millionpeople only in America are affected by this condition. According tostatistics, people who are aged above 50 years are at higher riskof developing this condition. Not only old people but children andadolescents can also develop this condition.
How is it caused?
The actual causes of tinnitus still could not be figured out butthere are various conditions that often cause tinnitus.Surprisingly, 1 out of every 3 people with tinnitus doesn’t have aparticular cause.
As the age of a human being progresses the risk of developingtinnitus increases. This is called age-relatedtinnitus.
- Those people who are exposed to loud music or industrial soundsfor long time periods also develop this condition. Repeatedexposure to loud noise often weakens the hearing mechanism insidethe inner ear. In such cases, the loud sounds damage the sensorycells. Once damaged they transmit signals of sound to the brainproducing ringing in ears. This is called noise-inducedtinnitus.
- Most of the time, it is just an accumulation of wax and nothingvery serious. Over time the number of wax increases which leads tothe ringing of ears. Carefully removing it eliminates thecondition.
- There is a possibility of infection in the middle ear becauseof which the wrong perception of sounds begins.
- Rarely, a bony growth develops in the ear abnormally. It is agenetic condition called osteosclerosis. The abnormal growthproduces tinnitus.
- Certain drugs also produce tinnitus as their side-effect. Thesedrugs include NSAIDs, aspirin, antibiotics, antimalarial drugs,anti-convulsants, loop diuretics, and tricyclic antidepressants andchemotherapy drugs. There are over 200 drugs that possibly causetinnitus if someone starts or stops taking them.
- In unfortunate scenarios, such as blasts in soldiers from thearmy and the people affected in blast often damages their braintissues in areas that process sound signals. In such cases, theconsequences include tinnitus and hearing loss.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction which is a painfulcondition that restricts the movement of this joint also causestinnitus.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of tinnitus are very clear. Patients dealing withit have a far better idea about the symptoms than anyone else.There is a continuous or on-and-off appearance of sounds thatresemble high squeals or dull buzzing sounds.
There is no external sound but the sound in ears exists.Patients complain of irritation and disturbance because of thesesounds as the sounds don’t let them concentrate on their work andstudies. Moreover, tinnitus often leads to hearing loss, insomnia,anxiety, and depression.
Due to constant hissing and humming in ears the patients don’tonly feel uncomfortable but also develop anxiety as it isequivalent to hallucinating. Initially, they often believe thatthey are hallucinating about the sounds in their ear and this iswhy awareness about this condition is very important. The symptomstend to aggravate and alleviate in a disorderly fashion.
How is it diagnosed?
Tinnitus is difficult to diagnose. There is not a particulartest for it. An otolaryngologist relies on the symptoms, history,and physical examination of the patient. Usually, they conduct ahearing test and ask a series of questions to understand theweightage of the condition.
Sometimes, they conduct an imaging scan or blood test when theyanticipate a tumor that might be damaging their hearingability.
Upper cervical chiropractic is the ultimatesolution!
Experienced chiropractic performs some diagnostic tests tounderstand the cause of tinnitus with a chiropractic perspective.Sometimes subluxation of upper cervical spine or distortion ofcervical posture leads to inflammation and damage to nerves andvascular structures which aid in the development of tinnitus.
After the problem in a spinal arrangement is identifiedchiropractic experts perform safe and effective adjustments in theupper cervical vertebrae to align the vertebrae correctly. Most ofthe patients observe improvement after only one session. Within afew sessions, the condition improves altogether.