Although persistent head noise, such as ringing in the ears, rarely signals a significant health issue, it can be quite inconvenient.
Do you frequently hear ringing in your ears? Doctors refer to this intermittent ringing noise as Tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition characterised by ear ringing, buzzing or whistling sounds that are not caused by an external source. It’s commonly described as a phantom noise only the affected individual can hear. The cause of Tinnitus is not fully understood and can be related to hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, stress, certain medications and other underlying health conditions. Tinnitus can range from occasional to constant and in intensity from mild to severe. It could sound like it’s coming from the head’s interior, one or both ears or a great distance away. It could be continuous or sporadic, steady or pulsing. The sound can be loud, faint or any volume in between, from a low-pitched roar to a high-pitched shriek.
Tinnitus is not an illness in and of itself but rather a sign of another health problem. One of the most frequent causes of Tinnitus is high-frequency hearing loss brought on by advancing age and exposure to noise. Wax buildup in the external auditory canal, middle ear fluid or infection, Eustachian tube malfunction, otosclerosis, Meniere’s illness and extra-aural issues like acoustic neuroma have all been linked to Tinnitus. You should consult a Tinnitus specialist in London if head noises continue, particularly if they are isolated to one side of the head or are accompanied by other symptoms like impaired hearing or vertigo.
It may be necessary to conduct further tests in addition to evaluation at the Tinnitus clinic in London to rule out potentially treatable causes of Tinnitus. Audiological examinations uncover Tinnitus-related hearing loss patterns. There may be no outward signs of hearing loss, but audiological evaluations may reveal a problem with hearing at extremely high frequencies. Typically, this is what goes wrong that leads to Tinnitus.
Tinnitus: Causes and Diagnosis
Tinnitus is not an actual illness. It is a sign of an underlying medical condition. It can occasionally be brought on by anything as simple as earwax clogging the ear canal. Tinnitus may also result from allergies, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, diabetes, tumours and head injuries. Tinnitus can also be brought on by a foreign object in the ear or an accumulation of earwax.
The most frequent reason for Tinnitus is prolonged exposure to loud noises. The cochlea, an inner ear organ with a spiral shape, suffers irreversible damage due to the noise. Tinnitus can also develop after a single exposure to abruptly deafening noise.
The root cause of Tinnitus is frequently unknown. Other typical Tinnitus causes include the following:
- Loud noise exposure may result in noise-induced hearing loss over time.
- Wax buildup in the ear canal, ear infections and, very infrequently, benign tumours of the nerve that controls hearing can cause obstructions.
- The degradation of the cochlea or other ear structures as a result of normal ageing.
- Some medications can harm the inner ear (for example, taking high doses of aspirin every day).
- A disease of the eustachian tube (the tube that leads from the middle ear to the back of the throat).
- Other health issues include diabetes, hypertension, allergies, an underactive thyroid, cardiovascular disease, circulation issues, anaemia and autoimmune diseases.
- Issues with the neck or jaw, such as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) syndrome.
- Head and neck injuries.
Your doctor will cover your medical background. They will ask if you take any drugs or dietary supplements. They will check your head, neck and ears and do a hearing test. Your neck, arms and legs might need to move, as well as your clenched mouth, eyes and other body parts. If the ringing grows worse when you move, that could be a clue as to what’s causing it.
Additionally, imaging exams like a CT or MRI scan may be required. If your doctor is unable to determine the reason, they will work with you to develop techniques to lessen or better manage the noise.
Some of the popular methods include:
- Hearing Exam: Examining your hearing involves sitting in a soundproof room while wearing headphones that send distinct noises into each ear one at a time. Your answers will be compared to responses deemed typical for your age, and you will be asked to indicate when you can hear the sound. This can aid in excluding or locating potential Tinnitus causes.
- Tests in the Lab: Your doctor can take blood samples to check for anaemia, thyroid problems, heart disease or vitamin deficiencies.
- Movement: Your physician could ask you to move your neck, arms, legs, jaw, neck and eyes. Tinnitus can indicate an underlying condition requiring treatment if it changes or worsens.
- Imaging Tests: You could require imaging tests like CT or MRI scans depending on the likely cause of your Tinnitus.
Is There More Than One Kind of Tinnitus?
Numerous ear or auditory pathway conditions can result in Tinnitus. Tinnitus, derived from the Latin word for “ringing,” is the experience of hearing sounds that are not present. It is the perception of sounds that have no external source. While most people at some point in their life experience moments or brief periods of hearing ringing in their ears (often following prolonged exposure to a noisy environment or after a sudden, deafening sound), other people experience Tinnitus more frequently.
The two major types of Tinnitus that doctors recognise are Objective Tinnitus and Subjective Tinnitus.
- Subjective Tinnitus is the term used to describe the condition when no actual sound source is physically present. This Tinnitus, which affects more people than other types, is caused by aberrant brain nerve cell activity rather than the ear or the area around the ear.
- Acoustic neuroma-related subjective Tinnitus is relatively infrequent. This cancerous tumour impacts the nerve connecting the brain to the inner ear. Tinnitus and hearing loss are often only experienced in one ear, as opposed to the more common type of hearing loss, which impacts both ears.
- On the other hand, Objective Tinnitus is caused by a physical event that is brought on by increased blood flow, vibrations or an overworked ear muscle. Other people may also hear the sounds that objective patients hear.
- During a patient’s physical exam, the Tinnitus specialist in London may notice a ringing sound that won’t go away. This ringing can be brought on by several things, including an infection in the middle ear or persistent, involuntary muscular contractions. This subtype of Tinnitus accounts for just about 1% of all cases of the condition.
- Objective Tinnitus is typically caused by blood flow from normal or aberrant blood arteries close to the ear. Pregnancy, anaemia, an overactive thyroid and tumours of blood arteries near the ear are all potential causes of Pulsatile Tinnitus.
Overall, how the noises are perceived distinguishes subjective from objective types. Due to the internal nature of the cause, subjective noises can only be heard by the patient, whereas objective noises can be heard by others when the source is external. A hearing clinic is crucial if you think you could have this disease. An audiologist can identify your issue, who can then proceed to determine its cause and discuss your treatment choices.
Factors Increasing the Chances of Developing Tinnitus
Tinnitus is described as the sense of sound when there is no sound source. Patients who experience Tinnitus report it as a ringing, hissing, roaring or whooshing noise that can be intermittent or continuous and varies in strength depending on the person. Whether your Tinnitus is a temporary annoyance or a constant distraction, you want to lessen how it affects your life. The following elements may exacerbate your Tinnitus.
When there are loud noises, your Tinnitus could get worse. Tinnitus might also get worse due to construction, loud music and traffic. Wear earplugs or other ear protection to protect your ears from loud noises.
Unfortunately, the ringing in your ears—which may become louder under stress—is likely what’s causing the stress. Try soothing methods like meditation or deep breathing to escape this vicious loop. To relieve stress, give acupuncture or massage a try.
Too much earwax can sometimes be a bad thing. A buildup of earwax could aggravate your Tinnitus. To avoid impacted earwax and potential eardrum injury, never try to remove wax from your ears on your own; instead, have it removed by a professional using cotton swabs or Q-tips.
Seasonal allergens may also contribute to your Tinnitus. Check to see if taking an allergy medication can solve the problem. If over-the-counter remedies aren’t helping, consider visiting an allergist for a more long-lasting solution.
When to Seek Help for Tinnitus? Get Qualified Assistance!
Visit your primary care doctor if the ringing lasts for several weeks. An ENT expert may be recommended to you, who may then request an audiogram, a type of hearing test. In addition to the ringing, you should see a doctor immediately if you experience complete hearing loss in one ear, dizziness or vertigo symptoms. These signs and symptoms can point to Meniere’s illness.
ENT LDN treatments for Tinnitus have proven effective for many individuals suffering from this condition. Using specialised medical equipment and techniques, our ENT specialists can provide targeted treatment that can help reduce Tinnitus symptoms, including ringing, buzzing and other ear noises. The treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s unique needs, taking into account their medical history, the cause of their Tinnitus and other factors contributing to their symptoms.
We urge you to utilise the therapies offered at the ENT LDN centre if you experience Tinnitus. With the right care, you can experience relief from the frustrating and distracting symptoms of Tinnitus and get back to enjoying life to the fullest. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn about ENT LDN treatments for Tinnitus or to schedule a consultation with an ENT specialist.
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