Rushing sound in ears: Pulsatile Tinnitus: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Troublesome Noises Your Ear Makes
Your ears are meant to hear many things, but what if what you are hearing isn’t a good thing? The weird sounds that may be filling your ears could indicate that something is wrong. It may be a medical condition, or it could be one of the more natural noises your ears make. Without the help of an audiologist, you may not realize that the sensations occurring could lead to hearing loss. Rumbling is one fairly common noise people experience, and ringing is another. Read on to find out what could be causing your hearing disturbance.
Why Is My Ear Making Noise?
Ringing and rumbling are some of the more common noises you may experience in your ears. Though not always indicative of ear trouble, it is best to pay attention when something seems off with your sense of hearing. Here are some common ear sounds and what they may mean.
If you are experiencing rumbling in your ear, it may sound like a strong wind is blowing in your ear or a rushing river is flowing by. Though this may seem unnatural, the rumbling is generally related to the protective measures your body takes to protect your hearing. If a noise is too loud, it could lead to damage in your inner ear, impacting your ability to hear well. The rumbling you may experience is the response of the body to muffle or diminish the sounds you are hearing.
Your inner ear contains muscles called tensor tympani, and when these muscles contract, it can limit the vibration of the eardrum. As the eardrum vibrates, it sends incoming sound waves into the middle ear for processing up to the brain. When the vibrations are stunted, it has a dampening effect that results in a rumbling sound. It’s common to experience this sensation or sound when yelling, coughing, chewing, or yawing. It is possible that underlying medical conditions are creating this noise.
An ear infection occurs when the middle ear fills with the fluid that hasn’t properly drained out of the eardrum. Inflammation and redness occur within the ear as infection sets in, but an individual may experience mild to severe pain in the ear, have a sensation of fullness in the ear, or have difficulty with hearing. Any of these conditions could lead to a rumbling sound in the ear.
Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can result in an individual experiencing ringing in the ear, dizziness, congestion or the feeling of fullness inside the ear, or hearing loss. Both of these conditions can be treated to restore hearing and remove discomfort. It is also possible that an individual can control rumbling sounds, as a handful of people are able to contract their inner ear muscles at will. This ability may lead to a subconscious reflex that creates a rumbling or roaring noise when taking part in a certain activity or when specifically focusing on your ears and hearing. While this seems unusual, it does give the individual the ability to protect their ear from loud noises. A person who can tense or flex these muscles may be able to redefine or mask specific sounds in order to hear others.
For those who hear ringing in their ears, it may be due to a condition called tinnitus. Symptoms of this condition often have a person hearing sounds even when nothing is present that could be making the sound. It isn’t just ringing, either. Someone may hear roaring, hissing, chirping, or whooshing with tinnitus. It has the potential to severely impact a person’s hearing, but the condition varies according to the cause of tinnitus. Some have problems with the tensor tympani muscles while others deal with blood vessel abnormalities within the ear. Tinnitus could be the cause of rumbling sounds, especially if the sensation occurs when yawning or chewing. Tinnitus can be diagnosed by an audiologist or physician.
It is possible for the pressure in the inner ear to change, leading to a feeling of fullness. This sensation may be accompanied by ringing, as well as itching, pain, lightheadedness, or drainage from the ear. Feelings of fullness can be caused by a number of things, such as congestion, a build-up of earwax, infection, or excess fluid in the ear. For most of the conditions, treatment takes care of the symptoms and restore normal hearing sensations. However, since an infection or fluid imbalance could be the cause of the muffled or muted hearing condition, it is best to seek medical treatment.
How Can I Fix My Hearing?
Ear ringing, rumbling, and muffled hearing can be more than nuisances if left untreated. While these conditions aren’t generally associated with long-term hearing damage, it is important to discuss any symptoms you are having with an audiologist or an ear, nose, and throat physician. Happy Ears Hearing Center offers patients high-quality and personalized hearing assessments, treating common conditions like tinnitus and addressing hearing loss. Make an appointment to have your ears assessed and your hearing evaluated.
Pulsatile Tinnitus – When you hear a thumping sound in your ear
Some people may experience a thumping or whooshing sound in their ears with the same rhythm as their heartbeat. This is called pulsatile tinnitus.
What is pulsatile tinnitus?
People suffering from pulsatile tinnitus often or always hear their own pulse in their ears. So if you experience a steady beat in your ears related to your pulse, you may have pulsatile tinnitus.
People can suffer from pulsatile tinnitus in one ear only or in both ears. In general, pulsatile tinnitus is relatively rare.
Many know the sensation of hearing your pulse from sports or other strenuous activities when they experience it briefly immediately afterwards. But for some people the sound and pulse never ceases.
Pulsatile tinnitus is different from traditional tinnitus that normally manifests itself in other ways such as ringing, hissing and buzzing noises in the ear.
Read more about tinnitus here: What is tinnitus?
What are the causes of pulsatile tinnitus?
Pulsatile tinnitus, the thumping in the ear, is often related to the blood flow in the vessels (arteries and veins) near the ears or an increased awareness of the blood flow around the ears.
There can be different possible causes for pulsatile tinnitus. Changes in the blood flow such as general increased blood flow, local increased blood flow or turbulent blood flow may be the cause. Also high blood pressure or a narrowing of a blood vessel near the ear may cause pulsatile tinnitus.
Tinnitus and stress are often connected. With pulsatile tinnitus, the effect of stress is indirect as stress can exacerbate blood pressure. But there can also be other causes of pulsatile tinnitus.
Some may only experience pulsatile tinnitus in one ear. Others only experience pulsatile tinnitus when they are lying down.
Do you experience pulsatile tinnitus? Maybe you have another type of tinnitus as well. What do other types of tinnitus sound like? Listen to our examples of tinnitus.
How can I stop the pulsing sound in my ear?
You cannot stop or cure pulsatile tinnitus yourself.
If you experience pulsatile tinnitus, it is advisable to see an ENT doctor or another medical specialist to have your ears, blood pressure and blood vessels near the ear and general health checked. If there is a specific cause for the problem, this may be solved. In other cases, no specific cause can be identified. Many have tried to find a way to cure tinnitus of any type, but so far there has not been found a scientifically proven solution.
Pulsatile tinnitus can be alleviated as the patient learns to cope with the condition, e.g. through counselling, and live a normal life.
Pulsatile Tinnitus | Causes & Treatment
While standard tinnitus usually has no identifiable cause, it’s more likely that there will be an underlying factor behind pulsatile tinnitus (though it may still prove difficult to pinpoint).
Many cases are caused by a change in the flow of blood through the vessels in and near your ear (around your head or neck), or a change in your awareness of this.
This change can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- An increase in the blood flow around your body
This can happen as a result of pregnancy, exercise, some medications or anaemia (a severe iron deficiency).
- Irregularly shaped blood vessels
Blood vessels with irregular shapes can encourage your blood to flow vfaster, which makes more noise than slow-flowing blood.
- Artery blockages
Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes fatty deposits to clog up your arteries, meaning your blood will not be able to easily flow through them.
Your awareness of the blood flowing in and around your ears can be caused by conditions that can block your ears, meaning your internal sounds are amplified. These include a perforated eardrum and impacted earwax.
Other common causes of pulsatile tinnitus include:
- High blood pressure
- Hyperthyroidism – when the thyroid gland is overactive
- Blockage in your arteries
- Altered awareness – brought on by factors such as conductive hearing loss
- Head or neck tumours
You may also have symptoms of pulsatile tinnitus if you suffer from a condition that leads to increased pressure in your head (characterised by headaches and problems with your eyesight, as well as pulsatile tinnitus).
If you do notice any signs that could indicate pulsatile tinnitus, speak to your doctor as soon as possible so they can examine you and confirm the diagnosis.
What Are Those Sounds in My Ear?
Ever hear buzzing, thumping, or crackling sounds that seem to come out of nowhere? If you use hearing aids, it might mean that they have to be adjusted or aren’t properly fitted. But it could also be possible that, if you don’t have hearing aids, the sounds may well be coming from inside your ears. There’s no need to panic. Even though we usually think of our ears in terms of what they look like on the outside, there’s much more than what you see. Here are some of the more common noises you may hear inside your ears, and what they may mean is happening. Although most are harmless (and temporary), if any of these sounds are prolonged, irritating, or otherwise impeding your quality of life, it’s a good strategy to get in touch with a hearing expert.
Crackling or Popping
You could hear a popping or crackling if the pressure in your ear changes, maybe from a change in altitude or from going underwater or even from yawning. The eustachian tube, a tiny part of your ear, is where these sounds are produced. When the mucus-lined passageway opens to allow fluid and air to pass, these crackling sounds are produced. It’s an automatic process, but on occasion, like if you have inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection, your tubes can actually get gummed up. Surgery is sometimes needed in severe situations when the blockage isn’t improved by decongestants or antibiotics. If you’re having persistent ear pain or pressure, you should probably consult a specialist.
Buzzing or Ringing is it Tinnitus?
Once again, if you use hearing aids, you may hear these kinds of sounds if they aren’t fitting properly within your ears, the volume is too loud, or your batteries are running low. If you aren’t wearing hearing aids, earwax could be the problem. Itchiness or even ear infections make sense when it comes to earwax, and it’s not unusual that it could make hearing challenging, but how could it create these sounds? The buzzing or ringing is caused when the wax is pushing on the eardrum and inhibiting its movement. Fortunately, it’s easily fixed: You can have the excess wax removed professionally. (This is not a DIY activity!) Tinnitus is the term for lasting buzzing or ringing. There are a few forms of tinnitus including when it’s caused by earwax. Tinnitus isn’t itself a disease or disorder; it’s a symptom that indicates something else is taking place with your health. While it could be as simple as the buildup of wax, tinnitus is also related to afflictions like anxiety and depression. Tinnitus can be eased by dealing with the root health concern; talk to a hearing specialist to learn more.
This one’s not so common, and if you can hear it, you’re the one causing the sound to occur! Have you ever observed how sometimes, if you have a really big yawn, you hear a low rumbling? It’s the sound of little muscles inside your ears contracting in order to provide damage control on sounds you make: They turn down the volume of yawning, chewing, even your own voice! Activities, such as yawning and chewing, are so near to your ears that though they are not really loud, they can still be damaging to your hearing. (But talking and chewing as well as yawning are not something we can stop doing, it’s a good thing we have these little muscles.) It’s very rare, but certain people can control one of these muscles, they’re called tensor tympani, and they’re able to produce that rumble at will.
Pulsing or Thumping
Your most likely not far of the mark if you at times think you hear a heartbeat in your ears. Some of the body’s largest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate’s up, whether from a tough workout or an important job interview, the sound of your pulse will be detected by your ears. This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and when you consult a hearing specialist, unlike other forms of tinnitus, they will be capable of hearing it too. If you’re experiencing pulsatile tinnitus but your pulse is not racing, you need to see a specialist because that’s not common. Like other forms of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom; there are most likely health problems if it continues. But if you just had a hard workout, you should not hear it when your heart rate comes back to normal.
Why Do I Hear Crackling in My Ear?
Crackling in your ear? If you hear buzzing, crackling, “static” or whooshing noises in your ear can all be signs of a condition known as tinnitus. Here’s what you need to know.
Ever hear crackling, buzzing, or thumping sounds that seem to come from nowhere? If you have hearing aids, it can mean that they need to be adjusted or aren’t properly fitted. But if you don’t have hearing aids…well, we don’t mean to go all horror movie, but those sounds might just be coming from inside your ear!
Don’t have a Van Gogh moment – there’s no need to panic. Even though we mostly think of our ears in terms of what we see on the outside, there’s more than meets the eye – or in this case, the ear. Here are some of the more common noises you might hear inside your ears, and what they may indicate is happening. Though most are harmless (and temporary), it’s a good idea to see a hearing specialist if any of these noises are persistent, painful, or otherwise impeding your quality of life.
What’s Causing the Snap, Crackle, and Pop in My Ear?
We can tell you one thing – it’s not the Rice Krispies. When the pressure in your ears changes – whether from altitude, going underwater, or just yawning – you may hear crackling or popping sounds. These sounds are caused by a tiny part of your ear called the eustachian tube. The crackling is these mucus-lined passageways opening up, allowing air and fluid to circulate and equalize the pressure in your ears.
It’s an automatic process, but sometimes – like if you have inflammation from allergies, a cold, or an ear infection – your eustachian tubes can literally get gummed up from the overabundance of mucus in your system (remember, your ears, nose, and throat or all connected). In severe cases where decongestant sprays, chicken soup, or antibiotics don’t provide relief, a blockage may require surgical intervention. If you’re experiencing persistent ear pain or pressure and haven’t been able to find any relief, you should see your doctor immediately or talk to a hearing specialist to get a diagnosis.
What Does It Mean When I Hear Vibrations in My Ear?
Vibrations in the ear are sometimes a telltale sign of tinnitus. Technically speaking, tinnitus is the medical term for when someone hears abnormal noises, like vibrations, in their ears that do not come from any outside sources. Most people will refer to it as a ringing in the ears and it manifests across the spectrum, from barely there to debilitating.
Is the Ringing and Buzzing in my Ear Tinnitus?
Again, if you have hearing aids, you might hear these kinds of sounds for a number of reasons: the hearing aids aren’t sitting properly within your ears, the volume is too high, or your batteries are running low. But if you don’t have hearing aids and you’re hearing this type of sound, it could also be due to excess earwax.
It makes sense that too much wax could make it hard to hear and cause itchiness or even inner ear infections, but how can earwax make a sound? If it is touching your eardrum, it can actually inhibit the eardrum’s ability to function, which is what causes the buzzing or ringing. The good news is earwax issues are easily fixed: you can go to a hearing specialist and have the excess wax professionally removed. Just remember, though – it’s never a good idea to try DIY methods for removing earwax since that could make matters much worse. Cotton swabs tend to push wax even further into your ears and compound the problem.
And yes, excessive, persistent ringing or buzzing is indicative of tinnitus. (Even buzzing from excessive earwax counts as a form of tinnitus.) Keep in mind that tinnitus isn’t itself a disease or disorder; instead, it’s a symptom of something else is happening with your health. While it could be as simple as wax buildup, tinnitus is also associated with conditions like anxiety and depression. Diagnosing and treating the underlying health problem can help relieve tinnitus, so you should speak to a hearing specialist to learn more about ways to relieve your symptoms.
What Are the Strange Rumblings in My Ear?
This next symptom is less common than others – and if you can hear it, you’re the one making the sound happen. Sometimes, if you have a really big yawn you can hear a low rumble in your ears. That rumble is the sound of tiny muscles inside your ears contracting in order to soften sounds you make: They turn down the volume on yawning, chewing, and even your own voice.
We’re not saying you chew too loudly – it’s just that those sounds occur so close to your ears and so frequently that the noise level would be damaging without these muscles. (And since chewing and speaking are important, we’ll stick with the muscles.) In extremely rare cases, some people can control one of these muscles–the tensor tympani–and produce that rumble at will. In other cases, people suffer from tympani muscle spasms caused by tonic tensor tympani syndrome, or TTTS. Studies have shown that TTTS occurs frequently in people with tinnitus and those suffering from hyperacusis, which is a sensitivity to specific sound volumes and frequencies.
What Causes a Fluttering Sound in My Ear?
Have you ever felt a flutter in your arms or legs after a workout? Those flutters are usually the result of a muscle spasm, and it’s no different from the fluttering you hear in your ears. Middle ear myoclonus, also known as MEM tinnitus, is a condition that impacts the aforementioned tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle in your middle ear. Since this is a muscle condition, muscle relaxers and anticonvulsants are typically used as a first-round treatment to bring the fluttering under control. Inner ear surgery to correct the condition is an option if the medications don’t work, but success varies from procedure to procedure.
Why Are My Ears Drumming, Thumping, Whooshing and Pulsing So Much?
The easy answer would be that you’re enjoying a night out at the club and that sound you hear is just the electronic dance music pumping through the PA – but we doubt you’d be reading this article if you’re hanging out at a dance club.
Instead, if you sometimes feel like you’re hearing your heartbeat thump inside your ears, you’re probably right. Some of the body’s largest veins run very close to your ears, and if your heart rate is up – whether from a tough workout, big job interview, or a medical condition like high blood pressure – your ears will pick up the sound of your pulse.
This is called pulsatile tinnitus, and unlike other forms of tinnitus, it’s one that other people can hear. Pulsatile tinnitus is easy for a hearing specialist to diagnose since they can listen in on your ears and hear the thumping and pulsing as well. While it’s totally normal to experience pulsatile tinnitus when your heart’s racing, it should not be something you have to live with on a daily basis.
If you do experience this thumping or pulsing every day, it’s probably a smart move to see a specialist. Like other forms of tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus is a symptom of another condition rather than a disease, so it may indicate a health concern, such as high blood pressure, if it persists. Sometimes pulsatile tinnitus is related back to a heart condition, so it’s important to relate any heart health history to your doctor or hearing specialist when you see them about your tinnitus. But if you just had a good workout (or a good scare), you should stop hearing the pulsing or thumping as soon as your heart rate returns to normal.
Why Does My Ear Keep Clicking?
As noted above, the Eustachian tube helps keep the pressure equal in your ears. If you get a muscle spasm in the muscles that surround the Eustachian tube, like for example in the roof of your mouth, it can cause a repeated clicking noise. Clicking can also happen when you swallow for the same reasons. What you’re hearing is the Eustachian tube open and close. Some people report hearing a clicking noise when their head drains of mucus. In some rare cases, persistent clicking could be a sign of a fracture in one of the tiny bones in your ear.
Why Is There a Hissing Noise in My Ear?
Some people experience tinnitus as a hissing noise in their ear. Tinnitus isn’t a condition in itself, it’s a description of a symptom where you perceive noises in your ear, often due to hearing loss. Sometimes tinnitus is caused by earwax compounded against the eardrum, but it can also be caused by trauma, injury, or damage to the eardrum by loud noises or infection. Most people describe the noise as a ringing in the ear, but others have described it as hissing, static, whooshing or even popping.
Is Ear Popping a Sign of Infection?
Sometimes an ear infection creates the feeling that your ears are full and the swelling can make your ears pop. Popping in your ear can be a sign of an acute infection. If you have any other symptoms such as pain in the ear, sudden hearing loss, or fever, you should probably see your physician immediately. Sometimes your ears will pop in the days following an infection or cold as your head clears of mucus.
How Do I Stop My Ears from Crackling?
Do you hear a crackling in your ear and suspect you have tinnitus? Set up a consultation with a hearing specialist in your area to find out about treatments available to you.
Page medically reviewed by Kevin St. Clergy, Audiologist, on April 6, 2020.
Understanding Body Noises | Rush System
Creaky knees. Ringing ears. Rumbling stomachs. Why are our bodies so noisy?
Even though it can be embarrassing, annoying or even worrisome, this organic symphony is perfectly normal most of the time.
“Our bodies are living organisms, and noises are part of our bodies’ functions,” says Lisa Ravindra, MD, a primary care physician at Rush University Medical Center.
In some cases, however, the snaps, crackles, pops and other strange sounds you hear should trigger an alarm. Here, Ravindra discusses some common bodily noises, why they happen and when to see a doctor.
Hearing a pop or crack from our joints is very common, especially as we age. It’s called crepitus, and typically, there is no need to worry.
Here’s why it happens: Cartilage rubs across a joint surface or other soft tissues that support, connect and protect structures, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles and blood vessels. And as we age, cartilage becomes less smooth. This causes bones and tissues to rub together as we move, making our joints creak or pop.
When to be concerned. “If pain, discomfort or swelling accompanies the popping or cracking, go to a primary care doctor or primary care sports medicine specialist to be evaluated,” Ravindra says.
The pain could indicate an injury. Doctors will look for a meniscus tear, when twisting or over-extension rips the C-shaped cartilage pads attached to the leg bones; or patellofemoral syndrome, when a joint becomes stressed due to overuse, an injury or bearing too much weight.
Discomfort and swelling could signal osteoarthritis, when wear and tear diminishes the cartilage in the knees.
Depending on the diagnosis, you may need medications, physical therapy or surgery to relieve symptoms or correct the problem. Exercise and weight loss may also help alleviate joint pain.
“Tinnitus is the term doctors use when you hear ringing, buzzing, hissing or roaring noises in your ears,” Ravindra says.
These are the most common causes of tinnitus:
- Inner ear damage. Exposure to loud noises can damage the hair cells in your inner ear, making them send signals to the brain to hear sounds that are not really there.
- Normal aging. Damage to the hair cells can also occur naturally as we age.
- Earwax blockage.
Less frequently, tinnitus results from the following:
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Tinnitus is a common complaint in people who suffer from TMJ, which is caused by grinding your teeth.
- Head and neck injuries. Trauma is associated with ringing ears.
- Certain medications. Common culprits include ACE inhibitors, prescribed to control high blood pressure; Lasix diuretics; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications; some antibiotics; and sertraline, a commonly prescribed antidepressant.
Most often, however, the cause of tinnitus remains unknown, and it comes and goes on its own. If the root of the problem is found, treatment will vary depending on the cause.
When to be concerned. Sometimes tinnitus can go on for weeks or even years. See your primary care doctor for an evaluation if it is interfering with work, sleep and functioning throughout the day. You may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Your doctor might suggest treatments, such as biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy, that can help you cope when you hear these phantom — and annoying — sounds.
If in addition to tinnitus you experience facial weakness, sudden hearing loss or dizziness, get help right away. These red flag symptoms could indicate a tumor, stroke, infection, trauma or other serious — even life-threatening — problem.
Sometimes tinnitus can go on for weeks or even years. See your primary care doctor for an evaluation if it is interfering with work, sleep and functioning throughout the day.
Rhythmic whooshing sound
Sometimes you can hear a rhythmic whooshing sound in time with your heartbeat.
This sound is called pulsatile tinnitus, and it becomes more common as we grow older, Ravindra says.
Pulsatile tinnitus can be due to hardening of the arteries near the ears. Hardening of the arteries happens when cholesterol and other substances build up. The build-up causes blood flow to become more forceful, making it easier for your ear to detect the heartbeats.
When to be concerned. Always see your primary care doctor if you experience pulsatile tinnitus. Occasionally, this sound can indicate potentially more serious problems.
“In rare cases, it could be caused by a tumor in the head or neck, an aneurysm, high blood pressure or a malformation in the blood vessel,” Ravindra explains.
Depending on the cause, you might need medications or surgery to correct the problem.
When the contents of your gastrointestinal tract move, your bowels make gurgling or rumbling sounds.
This is called borborgymus, and it is completely normal. The walls of the GI tract contract to mix and squeeze food through intestines so it can be digested. That creates the gurgling noise you sometimes hear after you’ve eaten.
As for a rumbling tummy? “When you’re hungry, a hormone-like substance in your brain activates a desire to eat. That hormone-like substance sends signals to the intestines and stomach to contract, and the movement causes that rumbling sound,” Ravindra explains.
While you can’t always prevent these sounds, the good news is that they aren’t usually signs of trouble.
“If the sounds come when you are hungry, try eating five small meals per day instead of three larger ones,” Ravindra suggests. “That can keep you from feeling hungry and triggering the chain of events that produce the noises.”
When to be concerned. While everyone’s stomach rumbles, call your primary care doctor if you experience pain, bloating or changes in bowel movements with these sounds.
“Any change from a person’s normal bowel movements — from having more frequent loose stools to a total lack of bowel movements — is a cause for concern, especially if the change is accompanied by abdominal pain or bloating,” Ravindra says.
That’s because pain and bloating could signal a serious or chronic health problem, including appendicitis, an obstructed bowel or an autoimmune disease such as celiac disease. Depending on the diagnosis, you might need medication, diet modification or even surgery to cure the problem.
And, of course, any time you have severe abdominal pain that comes on suddenly, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away.
Tinnitus | Beacon Health System
Tinnitus is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears. The noise you hear when you have tinnitus isn’t caused by an external sound, and other people usually can’t hear it. Tinnitus is a common problem. It affects about 15% to 20% of people, and is especially common in older adults.
Tinnitus is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system. For many people, tinnitus improves with treatment of the underlying cause or with other treatments that reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.
Tinnitus is most often described as a ringing in the ears, even though no external sound is present. However, tinnitus can also cause other types of phantom noises in your ears, including:
Most people who have tinnitus have subjective tinnitus, or tinnitus that only you can hear. The noises of tinnitus may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal, and you may hear it in one or both ears. In some cases, the sound can be so loud it interferes with your ability to concentrate or hear external sound. Tinnitus may be present all the time, or it may come and go.
In rare cases, tinnitus can occur as a rhythmic pulsing or whooshing sound, often in time with your heartbeat. This is called pulsatile tinnitus. If you have pulsatile tinnitus, your doctor may be able to hear your tinnitus when he or she does an examination (objective tinnitus).
When to see a doctor
Some people aren’t very bothered by tinnitus. For other people, tinnitus disrupts their daily lives. If you have tinnitus that bothers you, see your doctor.
Make an appointment to see your doctor if:
- You develop tinnitus after an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, and your tinnitus doesn’t improve within a week.
See your doctor as soon as possible if:
- You have hearing loss or dizziness with the tinnitus.
- You are experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of your tinnitus.
A number of health conditions can cause or worsen tinnitus. In many cases, an exact cause is never found.
Common causes of tinnitus
In many people, tinnitus is caused by one of the following:
Hearing loss. There are tiny, delicate hair cells in your inner ear (cochlea) that move when your ear receives sound waves. This movement triggers electrical signals along the nerve from your ear to your brain (auditory nerve). Your brain interprets these signals as sound.
If the hairs inside your inner ear are bent or broken — this happens as you age or when you are regularly exposed to loud sounds — they can “leak” random electrical impulses to your brain, causing tinnitus.
- Ear infection or ear canal blockage. Your ear canals can become blocked with a buildup of fluid (ear infection), earwax, dirt or other foreign materials. A blockage can change the pressure in your ear, causing tinnitus.
- Head or neck injuries. Head or neck trauma can affect the inner ear, hearing nerves or brain function linked to hearing. Such injuries usually cause tinnitus in only one ear.
Medications. A number of medications may cause or worsen tinnitus. Generally, the higher the dose of these medications, the worse tinnitus becomes. Often the unwanted noise disappears when you stop using these drugs.
Medications known to cause tinnitus include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and certain antibiotics, cancer drugs, water pills (diuretics), antimalarial drugs and antidepressants.
Other causes of tinnitus
Less common causes of tinnitus include other ear problems, chronic health conditions, and injuries or conditions that affect the nerves in your ear or the hearing center in your brain.
- Meniere’s disease. Tinnitus can be an early indicator of Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder that may be caused by abnormal inner ear fluid pressure.
- Eustachian tube dysfunction. In this condition, the tube in your ear connecting the middle ear to your upper throat remains expanded all the time, which can make your ear feel full.
- Ear bone changes. Stiffening of the bones in your middle ear (otosclerosis) may affect your hearing and cause tinnitus. This condition, caused by abnormal bone growth, tends to run in families.
- Muscle spasms in the inner ear. Muscles in the inner ear can tense up (spasm), which can result in tinnitus, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in the ear. This sometimes happens for no explainable reason, but can also be caused by neurologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Problems with the TMJ, the joint on each side of your head in front of your ears, where your lower jawbone meets your skull, can cause tinnitus.
- Acoustic neuroma or other head and neck tumors. Acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous (benign) tumor that develops on the cranial nerve that runs from your brain to your inner ear and controls balance and hearing. Other head, neck or brain tumors can also cause tinnitus.
- Blood vessel disorders. Conditions that affect your blood vessels — such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, or kinked or malformed blood vessels — can cause blood to move through your veins and arteries with more force. These blood flow changes can cause tinnitus or make tinnitus more noticeable.
- Other chronic conditions. Conditions including diabetes, thyroid problems, migraines, anemia, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus have all been associated with tinnitus.
Anyone can experience tinnitus, but these factors may increase your risk:
- Loud noise exposure. Loud noises, such as those from heavy equipment, chain saws and firearms, are common sources of noise-related hearing loss. Portable music devices, such as MP3 players, also can cause noise-related hearing loss if played loudly for long periods. People who work in noisy environments — such as factory and construction workers, musicians, and soldiers — are particularly at risk.
- Age. As you age, the number of functioning nerve fibers in your ears declines, possibly causing hearing problems often associated with tinnitus.
- Sex. Men are more likely to experience tinnitus.
- Tobacco and alcohol use. Smokers have a higher risk of developing tinnitus. Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of tinnitus.
- Certain health problems. Obesity, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and a history of arthritis or head injury all increase your risk of tinnitus.
Tinnitus affects people differently. For some people, tinnitus can significantly affect quality of life. If you have tinnitus, you may also experience:
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory problems
- Anxiety and irritability
- Problems with work and family life
Treating these linked conditions may not affect tinnitus directly, but it can help you feel better.
In many cases, tinnitus is the result of something that can’t be prevented. However, some precautions can help prevent certain kinds of tinnitus.
- Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. Try to limit your exposure to loud sounds. And if you cannot avoid loud sounds, use ear protection to help protect your hearing. If you use chain saws, are a musician, work in an industry that uses loud machinery or use firearms (especially pistols or shotguns), always wear over-the-ear hearing protection.
- Turn down the volume. Long-term exposure to amplified music with no ear protection or listening to music at very high volume through headphones can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Take care of your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise, eating right and taking other steps to keep your blood vessels healthy can help prevent tinnitus linked to obesity and blood vessel disorders.
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These substances, especially when used in excess, can affect blood flow and contribute to tinnitus.
Your doctor will typically diagnose you with tinnitus based on your symptoms alone. But in order to treat your symptoms, your doctor will also try to identify whether your tinnitus is caused by another, underlying condition. Sometimes a cause can’t be found.
To help identify the cause of your tinnitus, your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history and examine your ears, head and neck. Common tests include:
- Hearing (audiological) exam. During the test, you’ll sit in a soundproof room wearing earphones that transmit specific sounds into one ear at a time. You’ll indicate when you can hear the sound, and your results will be compared with results considered normal for your age. This can help rule out or identify possible causes of tinnitus.
- Movement. Your doctor may ask you to move your eyes, clench your jaw, or move your neck, arms and legs. If your tinnitus changes or worsens, it may help identify an underlying disorder that needs treatment.
- Imaging tests. Depending on the suspected cause of your tinnitus, you may need imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans.
- Lab tests. Your doctor may draw blood to check for anemia, thyroid problems, heart disease or vitamin deficiencies.
Do your best to describe for your doctor what kind of tinnitus noises you hear. The sounds you hear can help your doctor identify a possible underlying cause.
- Clicking. This type of sound suggests that muscle contractions in and around your ear might be the cause of your tinnitus.
- Pulsing, rushing or humming. These sounds usually stem from blood vessel (vascular) causes, such as high blood pressure, and you may notice them when you exercise or change positions, such as when you lie down or stand up.
- Low-pitched ringing. This type of sound may point to ear canal blockages, Meniere’s disease or stiff inner ear bones (otosclerosis).
- High-pitched ringing. This is the most commonly heard tinnitus sound. Likely causes include loud noise exposure, hearing loss or medications. Acoustic neuroma can cause continuous, high-pitched ringing in one ear.
Treatment for tinnitus depends on whether your tinnitus is caused by an underlying health condition. If so, your doctor may be able to reduce your symptoms by treating the underlying cause. Examples include:
- Earwax removal. Removing an earwax blockage can decrease tinnitus symptoms.
- Treating a blood vessel condition. Underlying blood vessel conditions may require medication, surgery or another treatment to address the problem.
- Hearing aids. If your tinnitus is caused by noise-induced or age-related hearing loss, using hearing aids may help improve your symptoms.
- Changing your medication. If a medication you’re taking appears to be the cause of tinnitus, your doctor may recommend stopping or reducing the drug, or switching to a different medication.
Many times, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are treatments that can help make your symptoms less noticeable. Your doctor may suggest using an electronic device to suppress the noise. Devices include:
- White noise machines. These devices, which produce a sound similar to static, or environmental sounds such as falling rain or ocean waves, are often an effective treatment for tinnitus. You may want to try a white noise machine with pillow speakers to help you sleep. Fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air conditioners in the bedroom also produce white noise and may help make tinnitus less noticeable at night.
- Masking devices. Worn in the ear and similar to hearing aids, these devices produce a continuous, low-level white noise that suppresses tinnitus symptoms.
Behavioral treatment options aim to help you live with tinnitus by helping you change the way you think and feel about your symptoms. Over time, your tinnitus may bother you less. Counseling options include:
- Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). TRT is an individualized program that is usually administered by an audiologist or at a tinnitus treatment center. TRT combines sound masking and counseling from a trained professional. Typically, you wear a device in your ear that helps mask your tinnitus symptoms while you also receive directive counseling. Over time, TRT may help you notice tinnitus less and feel less distressed by your symptoms.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other forms of counseling. A licensed mental health professional or psychologist can help you learn coping techniques to make tinnitus symptoms less bothersome. Counseling can also help with other problems often linked to tinnitus, including anxiety and depression. Many mental health professionals offer CBT for tinnitus in individual or group sessions, and CBT programs are also available online.
Drugs can’t cure tinnitus, but in some cases they may help reduce the severity of symptoms or complications. To help relieve your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat an underlying condition or to help treat the anxiety and depression that often accompany tinnitus.
Potential future treatments
Researchers are investigating whether magnetic or electrical stimulation of the brain can help relieve symptoms of tinnitus. Examples include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Often, tinnitus can’t be treated. Some people, however, get used to it and notice it less than they did at first. For many people, certain adjustments make the symptoms less bothersome. These tips may help:
- Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. To keep your tinnitus from getting worse, take steps to protect your hearing. If you use chain saws, are a musician, work in an industry that uses loud machinery or use firearms (especially pistols or shotguns), always wear over-the-ear hearing protection.
- Turn down the volume. Listening to music at very high volume through headphones can contribute to hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Use white noise. If tinnitus is especially noticeable in quiet settings, try using a white noise machine to mask the noise from tinnitus. If you don’t have a white noise machine, a fan, soft music or low-volume radio static also may help.
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. These substances, especially when used in excess, can affect blood flow and contribute to tinnitus.
There’s little evidence that alternative medicine treatments work for tinnitus. However, some alternative therapies that have been tried for tinnitus include:
- Ginkgo biloba
- Zinc supplements
Coping and support
In addition to any treatment options offered by your doctor, here are some suggestions to help you cope with tinnitus:
- Support groups. Sharing your experience with others who have tinnitus may be helpful. There are tinnitus groups that meet in person, as well as internet forums. To ensure that the information you get in the group is accurate, it’s best to choose a group facilitated by a physician, audiologist or other qualified health professional.
- Education. Learning as much as you can about tinnitus and ways to alleviate symptoms can help. And just understanding tinnitus better makes it less bothersome for some people.
- Stress management. Stress can make tinnitus worse. Stress management, whether through relaxation therapy, biofeedback or exercise, may provide some relief.
Preparing for an appointment
Be prepared to tell your doctor about:
- Your signs and symptoms
- Your medical history, including any other health conditions you have, such as hearing loss, high blood pressure or clogged arteries (atherosclerosis)
- All medications you take, including herbal remedies
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- What does the noise you hear sound like?
- Do you hear it in one or both ears?
- Has the sound you hear been continuous, or does it come and go?
- How loud is the noise?
- How much does the noise bother you?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises?
- Have you had an ear disease or head injury?
After you’ve been diagnosed with tinnitus, you may need to see an ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist). You may also need to work with a hearing expert (audiologist).
Last Updated: February 4th, 2021
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90,000 Tinnitus: Causes and Treatment
Tinnitus is a subjective sensation that can be described as hissing, hum, ringing, squeaking, buzzing, buzzing, sometimes rumbling noise or grinding noise.
In most cases, tinnitus accompanies hearing loss. Usually, damage to the auditory nerve appears suddenly or develops in a short time. Tinnitus is an absolute sign of the pathology of one of the ear departments. The spectrum of diseases causing these symptoms is very wide. In some cases, tinnitus is a sign of vascular disease of the head and neck.
Causes of tinnitus
Pathological noise can occur in the presence of some or other abnormalities, it can be both objective and subjective.
Objective pathological noise is distinguished from subjective noise by the fact that it is heard not only by the patient himself, but also by the doctor when using the phonendoscope. The phenomenon of objective noise can be observed quite rarely. It is caused by contractions of the muscles of the pharynx or the Eustachian tube, changes in pressure in the tympanic cavity, pathology of the temporomandibular joint, changes in blood flow in the vessels (for example, with their narrowing or pathological expansion).
Subjective pathological noise is heard only by the patient himself.In this case, noise is a sign of a pathology of the inner or middle ear, but it can occur in diseases of other organs and systems. This can be observed, for example, with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, atherosclerosis of the cerebral vessels, decreased pressure, hypertension, tumors and inflammatory diseases of the brain, etc. otitis media. According to the mechanism of occurrence, pathological tinnitus is associated with impaired sound conduction and irritation of nerve cells in the auditory analyzer.
Symptoms accompanying tinnitus may be as follows:
- pain in the ear or pressure sensation
- nausea, vomiting
- Redness and swelling of the ears or the skin around them
- discharge from one or both ears
- malaise or lethargy.
In order to accurately establish the causes of the noise, a diagnosis is carried out by means of audiometry.Such a study is carried out using electronic equipment of the frequency spectrum and noise intensity. Violation of the sound-conducting system is characterized by the appearance of low-pitched noise. When noise of the high-frequency spectrum appears, which is expressed by ringing, whistling, we can talk about the defeat of the sound-receiving apparatus, i.e. in the event of sensorineural hearing loss.
At the first occurrence of tinnitus or when it changes in nature, you should immediately consult a doctor.If tinnitus occurs during treatment with certain antibiotics that have an ototoxic effect, or in people whose work is associated with noise and vibration, such a symptom may serve as a harbinger of the onset of acoustic neuritis. Often, a one-sided murmur is the first sign of a vestibular cochlear neuroma. In Meniere’s disease, an increase in noise, an increase in its tone, may be a harbinger of the onset of acute vestibular dysfunction.
Treatment of tinnitus
Due to the fact that tinnitus is not a disease, but only a symptom of any disease, treatment can be prescribed in accordance with the results of a medical examination.In some cases, short-term over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may be sufficient, and in more complex cases, complex surgery may be required. Along with drugs for the treatment of tinnitus, methods such as reflexology, magnetotherapy, and electrical stimulation are widely used. The effectiveness of treatment largely depends on the timing of the patient’s seeking medical help. When applying at an early stage of the development of the disease, in most cases, in order to achieve a positive effect, it is enough to conduct a course of acupuncture in combination with other reflex methods of treatment.
If tinnitus occurs frequently, the patient’s quality of life can be significantly impaired if untreated. Tinnitus interferes with sleep, distracts from work, causes anxiety and stress, and in extreme cases can cause depression. Given that tinnitus can be a sign of potentially life-threatening conditions, the appearance of this symptom should signal the need for testing. Otherwise, the patient may miss the opportunity to start timely treatment of serious diseases, for example, cancer.In addition, in the absence of adequate treatment, brain damage, partial or complete hearing loss, and spread of infection (if the noise is caused by an infection) can occur.
Russian doctor linked tinnitus with symptoms of fatal diseases: Society: Russia: Lenta.ru
Tinnitus can be associated with symptoms of fatal age-related diseases, so it needs to be paid attention. Endocrinologist and nutritionist Mikhail Zabotin told about this to the publication “Word and Deed”.
According to Zabotin, tinnitus may be a consequence of a traumatic brain injury or a tumor of the neck and brain.He can also talk about vascular atherosclerosis, increased “bad” cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, weight gain, cervical osteochondrosis, damage to the tympanic membrane, chronic diseases of the ENT organs and teeth.
00:01 – July 22, 2020
Most often, tinnitus occurs in people over 55 years old. Those who use antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, or take aspirin may be at risk. The same effect is felt by people exposed to constant stress or hypochondriacal conditions.In this case, the noise can be temporary, for example, after strong voltages, including noise. Some experts associate tinnitus with increased anxiety, and therefore recommend psychotherapy, electrosleep, and other relaxing treatments.
The difficulty lies in the fact that noise is a subjective phenomenon, and not every highly professional doctor can hear it, Zabotin said. According to him, doctors can conduct ultrasound of blood vessels, MRI of the brain, laboratory examinations. In most cases, they detect vascular atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia (a violation of the ratio of blood fats), such diseases can be found in early childhood.For prevention, Zabotin recommended from an early age to lead a healthy lifestyle, maintain a normal body weight, eat healthy food, have physical activity appropriate for age and condition, observe a work and rest regimen, maintain a positive attitude and undergo medical examination at least once a year.
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90,000 tinnitus. Hearing aids for tinnitus in the CCS Rodnik
Tinnitus – Periodic or persistent sensation of noise in one or two ears without an external sound source.The noise can be ringing, hissing, roaring, or hum.
Doctors identify many possible causes and factors for the development of tinnitus, there are more than 200 of them. The main factors provoking the onset of ear noise include:
age-related hearing loss (hearing loss)
somatic, neurological, dental, pharmacological (taking medications), metabolic disorders
long-term exposure to noise
Due to the huge variety of reasons that provoke the development of tinnitus, each case is unique. To date, there is no general treatment for tinnitus that is equally effective for everyone.
To deal with the problem, it is important to contact an experienced specialist – a neurologist, who will prescribe a full-fledged diagnosis, and, in accordance with it, will select a course of therapy individually.
Types of tinnitus
Today there are 2 types of tinnitus:
Objective – the causes of the development of a pathological condition are disorders localized in the middle ear or vessels located in this area.The main distinguishing feature of this type of pathology is that noises are heard not only by the patient, but also by the doctor during the examination.
Subjective – the most common type of tinnitus (occurs in about 10-15% of adults), the main distinguishing feature of which is the presence of various noises that only the patient hears. The main cause of subjective tinnitus, doctors call disturbances in the mechanisms of perception of the central nervous system, arising from various diseases.
At the moment, there are no methods or drugs in medicine that would completely cure tinnitus, but scientists have managed to combine noise stimuli in tinnitus into two broad groups:
tonal (diagnosed much more often) – this is a whistle, ringing, squeak;
not tonal – rustling, crackling, clicking and others.
Sound therapy and hearing aids for tinnitus
One of the most common treatments for tinnitus is to sound the patient with non-repetitive tones or specially generated noise.The impact is carried out through the use of special hearing aids. The principle of treatment is to reduce the feeling of your own tinnitus by reducing irritation of the nervous system and, as a result, improving the patient’s quality of life.
The goal of sound therapy is to reduce the patient’s susceptibility to tinnitus while maintaining a stable emotional state. To achieve this goal, several effective techniques have been developed that differ in the type of exposure (features of the noise generated by the device):
Static Noise – The device is tuned to produce calm therapeutic sounds mixed with pathological noise effects.As a result, noises from tinnitus are masked, the patient gets the opportunity to abstract from them and relax. The therapeutic sound signal is selected for each patient individually, taking into account his preference and sensitivity.
So, hearing aids from Widex (Denmark), since 2008, have been equipped with a special Zen program. Its job is to generate (optionally) broadband noise or non-repetitive soothing tones that help users relax and reduce stress.The program is adjusted taking into account the hearing loss, pace, pitch, as well as the volume of the patient’s subjective noise. The user can select the most appropriate sound for all parameters (Zen themes) generated by the hearing aid.
Similar programs with a similar principle of operation are also available from other manufacturers of hearing aids:
Phonak (Switzerland) – Tinnitus Balance – broadband noise is generated. Adjustment for hearing loss and volume of patient’s subjective tinnitus.
Unitron (Canada) – Tinnitus-masker (similar to the Phonak noise generator)
Siemens (Germany) – Tinnitus masker and tonal therapy for tinnitus. There are several options for dealing with tinnitus. Masking with static broadband noise (white noise, pink noise, etc.), another option is modulated tones of ocean waves, paradise beach, etc. – sounds of nature, waves, which are specially designed for relaxation and relaxation of patients with tinnitus to distract their consciousness from the annoying noise in the head.The peculiarity of these tones is their unrepeatability and consistency throughout the day.
The next technology to combat ear noise is to amplify quiet sounds when adjusting hearing aids only in the range in which the patient’s subjective noise itself sounds. In this way, natural masking by surrounding sounds is achieved.
Another tinnitus compensation option is Notch, a technology used in the latest generation of Siemens hearing aids.Its essence is to specify the frequency at which the noise of a particular patient sounds, and then “cut out” the gain in this area. Thus, the hearing aid will continue to compensate for the hearing loss throughout its entire operating range, except for the frequency at which the tinnitus is located.
Bernafon (Switzerland) – Tinnitus SoundSupport. Generates broadband noise.
Each of the described types of sound therapy can alleviate the manifestations of tinnitus in the long term. Starting from the first sessions, the patient, who has suffered from tinnitus for a long time, receives the most cherished thing – the opportunity to get rid of the irritant at least for a while.However, you must also remember the importance of consulting with your specialist – audiologist (audiologist), as well as the attending physician.
Treatment of tinnitus in Kurkino
Do you often feel tinnitus? Is it accompanied by ringing, severe dizziness and general discomfort? Tinnitus is not a definite disease, but a very disturbing manifestation of a particular disease. It is important not to start the problem, but to thoroughly investigate it and prescribe an effective treatment.
Specialists of the Freedom of Movement Medical Center will help determine the exact causes of tinnitus, prescribe therapy and prophylaxis to prevent the recurrence of acute symptoms.
Tinnitus in the absence of a natural sound source may be accompanied by a sensation of hearing and other sounds (whistling, rustling). In this case, the sounds can be heard not in one ear, but in two at once or with the effect “in the whole head”. This symptom leads to a significant decrease in the patient’s quality of life, the problem must be solved without fail.
Possible causes of tinnitus
One of the most common causes of tinnitus is osteochondrosis or other structural changes in the cervical spine.
Another reason is the compression of the auditory nerve.
Also, when the vertebral arteries narrow, blood flow can be impaired.
The ears can make noise due to previous injuries of the cervical spine, improper position of the head and neck during sleep, as a result of prolonged exposure to one position (for example, during sedentary work), as well as inflammatory processes of the hearing organs.
Symptoms accompanying tinnitus
- pain in the projection of the collar zone;
- problems with coordination of movements, etc.
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Diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus – with a guarantee of a speedy recovery
To diagnose the condition, the following types of studies are performed:
- MRI of the cervical spine;
- examination by a neurologist and other specialists.
For treatment, the whole range of measures is involved, including modern methods of neurology, manual therapy, kinesiology. Also, courses of therapeutic massage and physical education can be prescribed. As practice shows, the improvement of the patient’s condition occurs after the first sessions.
Appointment with a neurologist for the treatment of tinnitus
Neurologists at the Freedom of Movement Medical Center specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tinnitus.If you or your loved ones are worried about this problem, seek advice by phone: +7 (495) 212-08-81
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Tinnitus is one of the frequent symptoms with which patients go to the doctor. It is nonspecific. That is, it is impossible to immediately assume from it what the patient is sick with. This symptom occurs in many different pathological processes. Some of them are quite dangerous and threaten the patient’s life.Let’s talk about why it can make noise in the ears, and what treatment may be required.
- Objective and subjective symptom
- Reasons for objective
- Reasons for subjective
- Treatment for objective noise
Objective and subjective symptom
There are two main types of tinnitus:
- Objective – when it is can be heard not only by the patient, but also by the doctor
- Subjective – when no one but the patient can hear him
The initial task of the doctor after a patient complains of tinnitus is to find out what symptom it is: objective or subjective.For this, the doctor conducts auscultation of the skull (listening) using a phonendoscope.
Reasons for Objective
If a doctor hears a noise, he is considered objective. Next, you need to determine whether the noise corresponds to the pulsation of the vessels. If so, the sound is most likely of vascular origin. If not, this is a pathology of a different nature.
Vascular murmur can indicate the following pathologies:
All these pathologies require surgical treatment. To establish the true cause of an objective pulsating noise, an MRI of the brain and a CT scan of the skull are required.
If the sound does not coincide with the pulsation of the vessels, it is usually clicky – in the form of a machine-gun burst or fluttering of insect wings. Then its muscular origin is assumed. The sound can be caused by muscle contractions in the soft palate or middle ear.
Reasons for subjective
It is much more difficult to find out the reasons for subjective noise. And it is far from always amenable to elimination. The doctor can prescribe the following studies to the patient to establish the cause of the sound:
- Pneumatic otoscopy
According to these studies, the doctor can determine whether it is an audiological or non-audiological noise.If the tympanogram is normal, the sound does not decrease with pneumomassage of the tympanic membrane, the threshold of auditory sensitivity is preserved, this is an audiological noise. If the pathology of the temporomandibular joint is detected, the sound intensity decreases after pneumomassage, a pathological tympanogram is observed, this is a non-audiological noise.
It is important to find out the mechanism of formation of sounds.Because it depends on how the treatment will be carried out.
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By itself, the sound that the patient hears usually has no pronounced health effects. At the very least, it does not reduce a person’s lifespan. However, the symptom can provoke neuropsychiatric disorders. Sometimes they are primary, when a person has a tinnitus against the background of mental disorders. But they often become secondary.Initially, a person is disturbed by noisy sounds. Further, the patient develops anxiety disorders and other disorders. They provoke not only a decrease in the quality of life due to psychological discomfort, but can also cause somatic pathology.
Sometimes it is a symptom of a serious illness that threatens human life and health. Vascular murmur may indicate an oncological process. Often it occurs as a result of the formation of an aneurysm (local expansion of an artery) or arteriovenous malformation (abnormal connection of a vein with an artery).This is the threat of rupture of the vascular formation with bleeding. Compression of nerves, inner ear structures and hearing loss are possible.
Sometimes subjective noise occurs due to damage to the structures of the central and peripheral nervous system. It may indicate damage to the temporal lobe of the brain. It can be caused by various diseases. But in any case, pathologies in which the structures of the nervous system are damaged are very dangerous and require treatment.
Treatment of objective noise
The patient often requires surgical treatment.Subject to removal:
- Tumors of the ear or auditory nerve
- Arteriovenous malformations
Sometimes organic pathology is not treated, but only observed. If the diagnostic results show that the formation is small and does not pose a significant threat to the patient, it may not be removed. Because noisy sounds in the head alone are not an indication for surgery. Such treatment is carried out only when there is a risk of negative consequences of the disease.
Anticonvulsants are prescribed for noisy sounds of muscle origin. In case of detection of the pathology of the ENT organs or chronic inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract, drug therapy is carried out.
With subjective noise, treatment can be different. There are many reasons for this symptom. Moreover, it is not always possible to install them. Depending on the cause, the treatment can be carried out by different specialists:
- Dentist deals with the pathology of the temporomandibular joint
- In case of a brain disease, a consultation with a neurologist or neurosurgeon is needed
- For diseases of the middle or inner ear, the help of an otolaryngologist is required
- For subjective cervical noise of origin, an orthopedist or vertebrologist is engaged in the treatment of pathology
Sometimes it is not possible to find out the cause.In this case, only symptomatic treatment is carried out. Can be prescribed:
Anticonvulsants . Carbamazepine is used. To understand whether it will be effective, a lidocaine test is performed. It is administered intravenously. If there is even a minimal positive response to therapy, the use of anticonvulsants is highly likely to be successful.
Psychotropic drugs . They are prescribed for concomitant depression, anxiety disorders. They do not always reduce the noisy sounds, but they can reduce the attention that the patient pays to this symptom.Anxiolytics, antidepressants, and less often antipsychotics are prescribed.
Zinc preparations . Lack of this trace element is considered as one of the possible causes of noisy sounds in the ear. Therefore, it is prescribed at a dose of 150 mg per day. Sometimes this can help reduce the severity of the symptom.
Antihistamines . Eliminate swelling of the ENT organs, improve the function of the auditory tube. This promotes better ventilation of the middle ear as less fluid accumulates in the middle ear.Many antihistamines have a calming effect, therefore, relieve anxiety disorders in patients.
Betahistine may be prescribed to improve cochlear blood flow. It also reduces the electrical activity of the vestibular nuclei in the brain. Metabolic drugs and neuroprotective agents are sometimes used. Some patients are helped by analogs of prostaglandin E1. Studies show that they eliminate rumbling sounds in the ear in 1 in 3 patients.
- Using a hearing aid with a noise masker
- Hardware external electrical stimulation
- Pneumatic massage of the tympanic membrane
To understand why the ear is noisy and what treatment is needed, you need to undergo a high-quality comprehensive examination.You can get diagnosed in Germany. In this country, the most modern research methods are used to determine the cause of noisy sounds in most cases. In the future, you can undergo treatment in one of the German clinics to get rid of the annoying symptom.
Booking Health will help organize examination and treatment in Germany. We will choose the best clinic for you, agree on everything with its administration, provide an interpreter. Thanks to our help, you will not only be able to receive high-quality medical services and get rid of the worries of organizing a trip, but also get a good discount in case of booking treatment abroad through the Booking Health service.
Choose treatment abroad and you will undoubtedly get an excellent result!
Authors: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova, Dr. Sergey Pashchenko
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