Tinnitus (pronounced ti-night-us or tin-i-tus) is a condition affecting a person’s ability to hear properly due to a ringing or roaring sound only that person can hear (Merriam-Webster, 2014). The name Tinnitus is derived from the Latin word tinnire defined as to ring or tinkle. Tinnitus is not a disease, but rather a disorder or symptom of the ear. For this reason Tinnitus has numerous causes and can be an incurable disorder, which maybe discovered through hearing tests. In most cases the condition is detectable by physicians through five different hearing related tests.
After research into tinnitus, doctors and psychologists agree there are two types of this ear related disorder. The first is subjective, which is the most common form. Subjective tinnitus is when the person affected hears a ringing, clanging, buzzing, or other repetitive noise. The sound one hears with subjective tinnitus is not audible to others, unlike objective tinnitus where the noise can be audible to others (UCSF. 2002). There is a diagnosis method which can be used to determine subjective or objective tinnitus.
An auditory brainstem response test and electrocochleography test are used to determine if the sound exists and whether the signals going to and from the ear and brain are traveling accordingly. In order to prove that objective tinnitus is actually one of physical sound the sounds have been recorded during research studies. Objective tinnitus has also been associated with one’s heartbeat meaning it was found synchronous. When the heart beats a sound occurs in the ear.
Controversy surrounded the concept of subjective tinnitus due to the inability of the physician to hear any sound and record it. Before research in the early 1980s, tinnitus was largely considered a psychological disorder rather than a physical impairment. This thought is also due to the prevalence of subjective tinnitus versus objective tinnitus. Only 5% of the cases reported as tinnitus are objective, thus the idea someone had a constant ringing or noise in the ear was considered psychological.
Careful research has proven the opposite and no one believes tinnitus is a psychological disorder anymore. Certain psychological ailments can worsen the symptoms one feels; however, it is not a phantom sound but a real disorder of the ear. Depression, anxiety, and stress are thought to increase tinnitus, whether mild or severe, due to the discomfort a person feels from hearing a constant sound echoing in their ears and head. Click Here to discover a scientifically proven, drug-free system that has helped over 200,000 individuals to get rid of tinnitus.
What are the Symptoms of Tinnitus?
Depending on the cause of tinnitus one or more symptoms may present. The majority of symptoms reported to physicians are a ringing sensation, buzzing, roaring, cracking, or hissing. A low roar or high pitched squeals are the most commonly reported symptoms to doctors according to the Vestibular Disorders Association and their research on tinnitus.
Hearing loss is a side symptom believed to derive from the association with hearing issues due to the constant noise sensation an affected person has. Hearing loss may not be attributed to tinnitus, but as a result of an actual disorder of the ear and its abilityto function. In this instance tinnitus might be a symptom of another ear disorder. Additionally, even with ringing in the ear some patients have not presented with any significant hearing loss during a test. For those who suffer hearing loss there is a treatment solution.
Patients often report a decrease of sound tolerance or at least sensitivity to certain levels of sound. This means the patient may be sensitive to areas with high decibels, loud music, or TV. While the symptoms of tinnitus may cause a sound intolerance, there are also reports of a person increasing the volume on TV or music in order to counter the hearing loss sensation they have.
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