Tinnitus (Ringing In The Ears)

Tinnitus is the medical name for noises or ringing in the ears; it may be continuous or intermittent. Tinnitus may sound like a high squeal or whine or a clicking sound, and may be present in one or both ears.

There are many known causes of tinnitus, though the most common known cause is from hearing loss. The physicians at Metairie Snoring & Sinus typically order a hearing test for patients suffering from tinnitus patients to determine whether they have a significant loss of hearing. The most common forms of hearing loss that cause tinnitus are the result of old age and exposure to loud noise.

Other common causes of tinnitus include:

  • Medications, typically those containing aspirin
  • Stress
  • Ear Wax (Cerumen) buildup
  • Ear Infections
  • Allergies
  • Medical problems such as diabetes, high-blood pressure and thyroid disorders
  • Tumors of the ear

Treatment for tinnitus can be challenging depending on the cause; in most cases, there is no specific cause so there is no specific treatment for tinnitus. Because Tinnitus is louder when it is quiet, masking is a way to reduce the ringing. When there is background noise, your mind does not focus on the Tinnitus, so Metairie Snoring & Sinus suggests that a competing sound such as a ticking clock or a radio may help mask head noises. A white noise machine or mobile application is another soothing option.

Most tinnitus therapy uses one of two techniques - masking or stress reduction. The auditory (hearing) system is one of the most delicate and sensitive mechanisms of the human body. Part of the general nervous system, a person’s auditory responses are affected to some degree by his or her anxiety levels.

Here are some things you can do to lessen tinnitus:

  • Avoid loud volume and sounds.
  • Check your blood pressure; seek to control high blood pressure levels.
  • Decrease your sodium intake; sodium impairs good blood circulation.
  • Stop using caffeine and tobacco (nicotine).
  • Exercise regularly, because it improves circulation.
  • Get adequate rest to avoid fatigue.
  • Use biofeedback techniques such as concentration and relaxation exercises that help teach voluntary control of the circulation to various parts of the body and relax muscle groups. This type of control may be effective in reducing the intensity of tinnitus in some patients.
  • Take steps to reduce nervous anxiety.

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