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  • Writer's pictureWidex Emirates Hearing Care

Say Goodbye to Tinnitus Troubles: Discover Effective Solutions Right Here


tinnitus
Image Credit: https://www.vonehospital.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Tinnitus-Ringing-in-Ears.png

The constant noise in the head rarely indicates a serious health problem. However, it sure can be very annoying when it starts to interfere with everyday life. There is no cure for tinnitus. There are solutions and remedies that can make it less noticeable and more manageable with time.

Here are some effective hearing solutions on how to minimize it in order to improve your quality of life.


What is tinnitus?


Tinnitus is the sound in the head that you hear without an external source. Tinnitus symptoms differ significantly from person to person. You may hear sounds that might be ringing in the ears, whistling, buzzing, hissing, humming, roaring, chirping, and even shrieking. This sound might come from one ear or both, from a distance, or from inside the head. It might be constant or intermittent, pulsate tinnitus or steady.


It is very important to know that tinnitus is a symptom and not a disease. When tinnitus lasts for more than six months, it is known as chronic tinnitus. It is very unpredictable because tinnitus signs and symptoms sometimes remain the same and at other times, they become worse.


What are tinnitus causes?


Finding out what is causing tinnitus is the first step towards treating it. Once you determine the cause, you can address it with medications, surgery or other recent solutions. Some causes include:

  • Aging

Age-related hearing loss or presbycusis is a common cause of tinnitus. That is why it is usually associated with hearing loss and is present among senior citizens.

  • Loud noise

Many people experience tinnitus for a short period of time, especially when being exposed to extremely loud noise. These noises might be from using earphones or headphones for long periods or working near heavy equipment.

  • Inner ear hair cell damage

This is one of the most common causes. Sound waves allow the hair cells in the inner ear to move and send signals to the brain through the auditory nerve. These signals can be interpreted by your brain as sounds. When these tiny hairs are damaged, random electric signals start reaching the brain, resulting in tinnitus.

  • Ototoxic drugs

They might damage the nerves in the ear. These symptoms might go away if the drug is discontinued. Some drugs are aspirin, antibiotics, antimalarial drugs, certain anticonvulsants, cancer drugs, loop diuretics, and tricyclic antidepressants.

  • Impacted earwax

Excessive earwax causes worsened symptoms such as hearing loss, ear irritation, and other issues.

  • Middle ear problems

These include infections and vascular tumors. Otitis media is caused by inflammation of the tubes that connect the middle ear to the back of the throat.

  • Meniere’s disease

It is a disorder that disturbs the balance mechanism in the inner ear. It also causes room-spinning vertigo. It is caused by abnormal fluid pressure in the inner ear. Tinnitus usually is the early indicator of this disorder.

  • Musculoskeletal factors

This includes clenching, tooth grinding, muscle tension in the neck or prior injury. These might make tinnitus more noticeable. If muscles are part of your tinnitus problem, massage therapy might help to relieve it.

  • Temporomandibular (TMJ) Disorders

Any problem with the joint between the head of the lower jaw and the skull found on each side of the head can result in tinnitus.

  • Cardiovascular diseases and heart/blood vessel problems

Abnormal blood vessels, narrowed arteries and other vascular problems might cause a specific type of tinnitus, known as pulsatile tinnitus.

  • Thyroid diseases

People with changes in their thyroid levels face an increased risk of developing tinnitus.


Tinnitus diagnosis treatment


Tinnitus can be subjective. This means only you can hear the noise. The sound is usually referred to as phantom sound. That is why it is always hard to diagnose. When this happens, it is very important to seek a clinician who will:

  1. Ask about your medical history and any medications you take.

  2. Perform a physical examination to determine if the problem is caused by a certain medical condition or medication.

  3. Ask about the noise you are hearing, the times you are hearing it and the places in which you hear it.

  4. Execute a series of hearing tests to determine the source of the problem. These tests are conducted by an audiologist:

  • Full auditory testing

  • Blood work to check your thyroid levels and other levels of the body

  • Imaging studies like MRI or CT


There is no cure for tinnitus. You have to know that there isn’t any medication that if you take it, tinnitus symptoms to disappear. How you can treat tinnitus depends on how you learn to live with it and adapt to your new situation.

Some helpful approaches include the following:


Hearing aids, including cochlear implants


If you have a hearing impairment, treating it can make your tinnitus less noticeable. Most people acquire tinnitus as a symptom of hearing loss. When you have tinnitus, you will find that the better you hear, the less you notice the symptoms of tinnitus.

That is why having digital hearing aids can help a lot. They are small electronic devices that increase the volume of external noises and help the brain learn new ways to process sound. Hearing aids and tinnitus are always interrelated.

  1. They restore auditory stimulation to the brain.

  2. They allow the user to hear background noises.

  3. They help reduce stress.

  4. They allow you to easily connect to your phone, so you would be able to stream sounds from relaxation apps that offer a wide range of white noise.

For those suffering from severe hearing loss, cochlear implant hearing aids are hearing medical equipment devices that are surgically implanted inside the ear. They use electrical signals to send external sounds directly to the auditory nerve.


Sound generators


This hearing solution is very simple. You can simply keep a machine on your night table that produces relaxing sounds such as white noise.

You can also use wearable sound generators or masking devices. They fit in your ear and play soft sounds or music just loud enough to mask the symptoms of tinnitus. Tinnitus maskers offer a distraction from all the uncomfortable ringing. There are many types available. Some users prefer a level of external sound that is louder than their tinnitus, while others prefer a masking sound that eliminates the ringing completely. They play:

Acoustic neural stimulation


We are talking here about a device that is the size of your palm. It works through a pair of headphones that deliver a broadband acoustic signal embedded in music. This new treatment can stimulate changes in the neural circuits, making you less sensitive to tinnitus. The music does not necessarily have to be so loud. It can be water, music, white noise or sounds of nature.


Tinnitus Retraining Therapy


It is a potential treatment that involves a combination of sound therapy and counseling in order to train the brain to ignore the different sounds you hear in your ear. This intervention is designed to facilitate “habituation”, a learning process that shows how you can react to tinnitus and be aware of it.


Cognitive behavioral therapy


Since there is no cure for tinnitus, sometimes treatment involves accepting tinnitus and searching for ways to live with it. There are many therapies that can help reduce the stress, distress and annoyance that might be causing you.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps patients learn how to live with their condition. Instead of reducing the sound, this therapy teaches you how to accept it. It teaches you how to prevent tinnitus from being your focus.


CBT involves working with a counselor or therapist who helps to identify and change negative thought patterns.


Tinnitus-related effects include:

  • Distress

  • Irritability

  • Weakness

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Forgetfulness

  • Mood swings

  • Insomnia

  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing on tasks

There are certain medications that can be used which help alleviate the problems caused by tinnitus. Some include:

  1. Anti-anxiety drugs

  2. Antidepressants

Exercise, relaxation, and meditation


Learning relaxation and meditation techniques can help the person release all the stress that might be a trigger for their tinnitus and prevent it before it starts. With tinnitus, all you need is to refocus your attention on something other than your tinnitus. This is achieved by regularly practicing these techniques:

  • Autogenic relaxation, which is a self-hypnosis technique that helps to calm the mind

  • Visualization, learning to think of places that make you feel at ease

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

Exercise always has a huge impact on the overall health and well-being of the person. It is also an approach to cope with stress. If your tinnitus is related to high blood pressure, increasing activity levels can help get your blood pressure under control, thus reducing tinnitus.


Tinnitus can impact your life in ways you can never imagine. Talk with your doctor to check the conditions causing it and to discuss the treatment options that might help to relieve the symptoms.

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