Tinnitus can be caused by loud noises, excessive cerumen or auditory canal obstruction, disorders of the cervical vertebrae or the temporomandibular joint, allergies, underactive thyroid, cardiovascular disease, tumors, conductive hearing loss, anxiety, depression, degeneration of bones in the middle ear, infections, or trauma to the head or ear. In addition, more than 200 prescription and nonprescription drugs list it as a potential side effect, aspirin being the most common. It has a significant impact on daily life even in those with normal or very mildly impaired hearing. It is exacerbated by noise and increases in severity over time in many elders.
The treatment for tinnitus will depend on many factors. In some people the noise is soft and barely noticeable, while in others the noise seems crashingly loud and can prevent the person from sleeping. The cause of this often distressing symptom can arise in any section of a person’s hearing apparatus, from the outside of the ear to the intricate neural pathways in the brain. At a minimum it can be a nuisance; in a more extreme form it can cause lack of sleep or depression and has even been associated with suicide. People who have tinnitus worry about doing anything to their ears for fear it could make their tinnitus worse. People who do not have tinnitus worry they may get it. This concern can sometimes cause people to avoid hearing aids. But hearing aids does not cause tinnitus. In face it can be used for tinnitus relief. A good example is available on this link whyaremyearsringing.co.uk.
Popular tinnitus remedies include the use of hearing aids and sound generators to help mask the hissing or ringing sounds that aren’t actually present. A method known as the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment is a new tinnitus treatment method. It “rewires” the brain with customized sounds to filter out tinnitus. Home remedies for tinnitus include avoiding nicotine, salt, caffeine, and stress. Some people report success with a 200 mg daily dose of gingko biloba, a nonprescription and widely available herbal product. But it doesn’t work for everyone.
Tinnitus affects about 10 percent of Americans and sometimes interferes with sleep, concentration, and mood. The often progressive condition is frequently linked to an overactive or injured hearing system. Hearing one’s own heartbeat (vascular tinnitus) results from blood flow in the heart, neck, and brain and is evaluated with MRI and CT scans. No two people describe tinnitus in exactly the same way.
Psychological interventions are to date the most effective treatments for tinnitus. The interventions that have so far been tested in controlled studies include EMG biofeedback, relaxation, hypnosis, support/counseling, therapeutic noise, and cognitive-behavioral treatments. Several studies and case reports suggest that relaxation and EMG biofeedback can at least reduce the subjective disturbance and annoyance resulting from tinnitus. Some reports suggest that these treatments may reduce the severity or loudness of the tinnitus, although this is much less clear. Patients often rate noticeable improvement in their ability to manage the stress of tinnitus after biofeedback/relaxation treatment, and they often report much satisfaction with treatment.