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Why Does Tinnitus Occur?

Thursday, February 2nd

Why Does Tinnitus Occur?

Tinnitus is not a disease but a persistent condition. It is like pain - a signal that something has gone wrong somewhere. Tinnitus is usually a symptom of some other underlying condition and most often considered a nuisance. A vast majority of individuals who experience tinnitus have been exposed to loud sound over a period of time. The loud sound causes damage to the ear and this damage results in the brain responding to a sound that is not there. If it was a short exposure to loud sounds, like a concert, firearms, heavy construction, or lawn mowers the tinnitus will sometimes linger for a few days then go away or sometimes it will linger indefinitely.

Some other common causes of tinnitus are age-related hearing loss, earwax blockage in the ear canal, foreign objects poked in the ear, nasal allergies, mercury or lead poisoning, medications, ear infections and abnormal bone growth in the ear. Less common causes of tinnitus include stress and depression, and inner ear disorder called Meniere's disease, head or neck injury, and a benign tumor of the cranial nerve called acoustic neuroma.

There are blood vessel disorders that cause tinnitus including head and neck tumors, turbulent blood flow and high blood pressure. Certain antibiotics, diuretics, and cancer procedures have been known to cause tinnitus.

There are two basic types of tinnitus, Objective and subjective. Subjective tinnitus is the most common type. An individual with subjective tinnitus is the only person who can hear the sound in their ear and the sounds are usually a result of nerve damage to the small hair follicles in the ear that vibrate when sound is introduced. When this damage occurs the brain somehow begins getting the message that sound is present when it is not and responds by sending back the sound to the ear that the brain "thinks" is being heard.

In objective tinnitus no one other than the sufferer can hear the sound the person is hearing. The most common causes for objective tinnitus comes from muscle spasms, and altered blood flow. In cases of objective tinnitus the condition that causes the sound may be serious and sometimes life threatening because it is often associated with problems in blood pressure and certain types of hypertension.

Many people notice the noises to be louder in the evening and right before bed. During the day, the distraction of the environment around you and the activities you participate in as well as your own noises seem to make the tinnitus less noticeable. When the world around you quiets down, the tinnitus can seem more apparent and more bothersome. Fatigue can also affect tinnitus and by the end of the day many people are worn down.

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Tinnitus Product FAQ

Tinnitus is a sensation of roaring, buzzing, hissing or ringing in your ears - with no external source. It can be constant or intermittent and may be exacerbated by stress, anxiety, or fatigue.
There can be many causes of tinnitus. It may be as simple as a buildup of wax in the ear or as complicated as a medical condition like Meniere's disease. Loud sounds can cause both tinnitus and hearing loss, especially with long-term exposure.
In the US alone, almost 50 million people experience tinnitus in a given year, with 20% of those cases being severe enough that the patients seek medical attention. That percentage increases sharply among people in careers that regularly expose them to loud noises, such as musicians, airport ground staff, and construction workers.
For some people, tinnitus goes away on its own. Unfortunately, for many people with tinnitus, something else is required. This can involve working with an audiologist or using an over-the-counter product to try and manage the symptoms.
Yes. These products usually consist of an herbal blend of ingredients to help calm your nerves and soothe your symptoms. While it's still recommended that you consult with your physician, an OTC tinnitus remedy can offer some relief while you determine the cause of your problem and the best long-term approach.
No. You'll pay $40-$60 for a one-month supply, depending on the remedy you select.
Yes, most of the time. Some manufacturers of tinnitus relief products will let you use them for up to a year and you can request a refund if you don't see improvement.
Yes. They're typically a blend of vitamins, minerals and herbal ingredients that have been safely used for many years. Of course, it's always wise to review each product's formula and make sure that there are no components that are contraindicated due to allergies or other medications you may be taking.
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