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Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears without any actual external noise. The different perceptions of sound include buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing and clicking. It is commonly called as "ringing in the ears". Tinnitus is a common problem that affects about one in five people. Tinnitus generally is not serious, though it worsens with the age. For many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause helps in the management of tinnitus. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.
Subjective Tinnitus: It is the most common type of tinnitus. This tinnitus can only be heard by the affected person. Ear problems in the outer, middle or inner ear are the main causes, for tinnitus. They can also can be caused by problems with the hearing (auditory) nerves or the part of your brain that interprets nerve signals as sound (auditory pathways). This type can appear and disappear suddenly and sometimes may last for 3 to 12 months.
Objective Tinnitus: This is a rare type of tinnitus and may be caused by blood vessel problems, a middle ear bone condition and involuntary muscle contraction. In this type of tinnitus the outside observer or a doctor can hear it. This is the only type of tinnitus which has a permanent solution.
Neurological Tinnitus: Usually caused by a disorder, such as Meniere's disease, that primarily affects the brain's auditory functions.
Somatic Tinnitus: Related to the sensory system. This form is caused, worsened, or otherwise related to the sensory system.
Based on the patient's personal perception of the sound, tinnitus can be further classified as:
Tonal Tinnitus: It is generally associated with subjective tinnitus. The perception of overlapping sounds with well-defined frequencies.
Pulsatile Tinnitus: The perception of pulsating sounds, that often align with the patient's heartbeat. Pulsatile tinnitus is often associated with objective and somatic tinnitus.
Musical Tinnitus: The perception of music or singing, sometimes the same tune on a constant loop. Also known as Musical Ear Syndrome, Musical Tinnitus is very rare.
Low-Frequency Tinnitus: This is the most confusing type of tinnitus because the affected individuals cannot distinguish whether the sound is being produced internally or externally.
Tinnitus is a symptom and is associated with many underlying health conditions. Major causes of tinnitus are:
Individuals encountered with tinnitus should go for an examination to determine the underlying problem. An otolaryngologist or ENT specialist examines your ears, head and neck to look for possible causes of tinnitus. Diagnostic Tests include:
Audio logical Examination: Your ENT physician performs few hearing tests to establish the cause of tinnitus.
Imaging Tests: Depending on the suspected cause of your tinnitus, imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans are performed.
Type of sounds you hear can help doctor to identify a possible underlying cause.
Tinnitus has no treatment but it can be managed effectively. Identification and treatment of underlying cause helps in the management of tinnitus.
1) Sound Therapy: Uses external noises to mask the troubling sounds of tinnitus. Devices used to produce external noise include:
2) Earwax Removal: Removing impacted earwax can decrease tinnitus symptoms.
3) Treating a Blood Vessel Condition: Underlying vascular conditions may require medication, surgery or another treatment to address the problem.
4) Changing in Medication: Withdrawal or switching of the drug helps in ameliorating the symptom, in case of individuals where medication is found to be the cause of tinnitus.
6) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Tinnitus and stress are interrelated. Tinnitus may cause stress, making it worse. CBT helps in changing the way of your thinking about tinnitus and reduces your anxiety and helps you to accept the noises.
BSR ENT Hospital is one of the renowned Hospitals in Secunderabad, Hyderabad with a high success rate of surgeries and clinical outcomes since the past 40 years. The team of expert and experienced surgeons has improved the quality of life for people with tinnitus and other ear problems.
By combining our expertise and the latest technologies at BSR, our patients experience better treatment and recovery.
The diagnosis and treatment offered is quick as the hospital is equipped with in-house laboratory for tests. At BSR, we believe in patient-centric approach to treatment and care and ensure that every patient receives the best in class treatment facilities at affordable price.