If you’ve been thinking “my ears are ringing” and don’t know what to do about it, you’re not alone. What you most likely are experiencing is a condition called tinnitus, a ringing sound heard in the ear in the absence of corresponding external sounds. While the definition only includes ringing, many people claim that the noise is more like swishing, whistling, humming, beeping, or other disturbing sounds. There are several forms of tinnitus that can be caused by a variety of factors.
There are two general forms of tinnitus: objective and subjective. The subjective type could be caused by more factors than are even possible to list but the concept with this one is that there is no real measurable cause and no objective test to put a number on how the condition affects the patient. In some cases, what happens is that the person who is suffering from tinnitus starts to concentrate only on the sound in his/her ears, rather than trying to block that out and focus on the surrounding sounds/her. When this happens, the condition becomes more than just annoying. Instead, it can severely affect his/her ability to function even in day-to-day activities.
Objective tinnitus, on the other hand, can be measured, and it is fairly easy to find the cause. Pulsatile tinnitus is one kind of objective tinnitus and this is the name given when the person describes the sound they hear as blood pulsing inside the ears. In extreme cases of pulsatile tinnitus, those who suffer from it say that they can even sense the ebb and flow of the blood in between the beats of the pulse. The causes for this type can be tumors, aneurysms, other serious conditions in the neck and/or head, or a quick rise in blood pressure due to a fright, for example.
Unfortunately, there is no “official” tinnitus cure that we know of. But there are many treatments that teach sufferers to manage their condition. Some say that it actually diminishes or disappears altogether. Removing excess wax from the ears is one of the simplest treatments. Doing something to get rid of your allergies or bad cold is another. It has been reported that over-exposure to loud noises is one of the most significant causes of subjective tinnitus so reducing the exposure to these loud noises and environment can reduce the effects of tinnitus. Also, it has been shown that certain medications’ side effects include tinnitus so avoiding these can reduce tinnitus as well. Psychotherapy and other alternative therapies like meditation or acupuncture may also have some effect on tinnitus.
Tinnitus is a common problem with an enormous array of possible causes that are not yet fully understood. It can vary from mild cases that are just a bit annoying to extreme cases that inhibit daily life. Research is being done to find a cure.
This article entitled “Help!” My Ears Are Ringing!” is not meant to substitute the advice of a medical professional.