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Top Facts and Findings You Need to Know About Tinnitus
Whether you experience tinnitus yourself, or you know someone who has these symptoms, tinnitus facts and findings are useful to know about. Tinnitus is caused in a number of ways, but one of the main causes is age-related hearing loss, so there’s a high probability, you will experience it at some point. Even so, there are many effective ways to handle the condition.
Tinnitus Sounds Vary
Tinnitus is typically a background ringing or buzzing that only the person with tinnitus can hear. There are several ways that tinnitus can develop, it can be caused by age-related hearing loss, by a sudden loud noise in your ear, or by exposure to consistent loud noises in a workplace.
However, not all people with tinnitus have the same experience, some people will hear a low-level buzzing, while others will hear an intrusive ringing. Some tinnitus is temporary while other forms of it become a permanent feature. An audiologist can help you identify tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a Symptom
The idea that tinnitus is a disease is a common misconception, a disease is a disorder that affects the structure or function of an organism, but a symptom is a physical or mental feature of an underlying disease. In the case of tinnitus, it’s usually a symptom of a form of hearing loss.
People who experience tinnitus may or may not know the underlying cause of their condition, in some cases, the cause will be obvious, they have worked with loud sounds for much of their lives, and in other cases, it might be more complex. Your audiologist will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Tinnitus is Common
If you’re like most people you don’t think about a condition like tinnitus until you start to experience a new buzzing or ringing in your ear. If you don’t have any information or facts about tinnitus the experience can be disconcerting, but tinnitus is very common in different groups.
According to the American Tinnitus Association, tinnitus affects over 45 million people in the U.S. In general, tinnitus is more common in men than it is in women, and it is more common in older people – that is people over 60. Military people and loud noise workers are also at risk.
Tinnitus has Triggers
If you know anything about tinnitus then you know that it’s a symptom of hearing loss caused by aging or exposure to loud noises, but you might not know that tinnitus can be triggered by environmental factors and food items that stimulate the body’s blood flow creating tinnitus.
Certain foods and drugs can trigger tinnitus, but they don’t cause it, for tinnitus to trigger like this it has to be prevalent first. Food items such as coffee, alcohol, and salt, are known to stimulate tinnitus, drugs such as aspirin can also bring it on, along with other stimulants such as smoking.
Tinnitus is Uncurable
When someone’s hearing is damaged or starts to deteriorate because of age, it is only possible to treat the condition with hearing aids and lifestyle changes. As mentioned, tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss and it can’t be cured, but it can be effectively treated and reduced.
When you visit an audiologist with tinnitus symptoms, they might recommend some lifestyle changes such as reducing your caffeine intake and stress levels. In the case of more persistent cases of tinnitus, a hearing device might be needed to mask the tinnitus sounds. Nowadays, hearing devices are quite sophisticated.
Research into tinnitus is ongoing and new insights lead to a better understanding of the condition along with new treatments. One of the most successful research methods involves MRI scans that provide information on the structure of tinnitus in different areas of the brain.
New MRI research has revealed that affected people have a different structure in a key area of the brain. The limbic system is where the brain operates its fight or flight response system, and certain subcallosal parts of it might be less active in people with tinnitus. That’s one reason stress reduction and meditation techniques work well to reduce the symptoms of the condition.
Another reason that tinnitus is exacerbated in affected people is because of the high alertness when tinnitus is active. Chances are someone’s attention is drawn to the noise in their ears which creates more tension, but findings from the University of Illinois state that patients with high alert will experience more symptoms, which is why relaxation and meditation are so helpful.
To learn more about tinnitus, contact one of our staff members by calling Quality Hearing Aid Center at (248) 430-8791.