Tinnitus: what are the reasons, and when to worry

Tinnitus, or in other words tinnitus, is most often a subjective sensation of ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or other sounds in the absence of external stimuli. Why does it occur, and what health problems can it talk about?

Шум в ушах: в чем причины, и когда надо беспокоиться

The noise or ringing in the ears can vary from moderate to severe, can be constant or periodic. Tinnitus affects from 10 to 15% of the population, while there is no dependence on gender. There are such types of noise in the ear as:

  • Subjective: you hear a noise that does not come from the external environment and is associated with irritation of the auditory nerve;

  • Pulsating: You hear buzzing, ringing, clicking or other loud sounds that match your heartbeat;

  • Objective: a rather rare phenomenon associated with increased sensitivity to external sounds or with vibration of various parts of the body.

Despite the fact that a large number of studies have been conducted on this topic, there is still no clear answer as to where tinnitus comes from. Consider the most common reasons:

Age-related changes in the hearing aid. The fact is that there are special cells in the human body that perceive sound signals, convert them into a nerve impulse and only then transmit the “sound” directly to the brain. In turn, the brain processes this information and finds out the localization and nature of the sound. With age, cells begin to produce their own impulses worse, as a result of which we hear noise.

Diseases of the outer and middle ear, such as sulfur plug, otitis media, narrowing of the auditory canal, tumor of the tympanic cavity, can also cause tinnitus.

Шум в ушах: в чем причины, и когда надо беспокоиться

Many medicines have an ototoxic effect. These include: aspirin, aminoglycoside antibiotics (gentamicin, kanamycin) and quinine derivatives, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ethacric acid, platinum derivatives, ACE inhibitors. Methyl alcohol and benzene can also have an ototoxic effect.

Depression and increased anxiety can also cause an uncomfortable feeling in the ears. This is most often associated with the work of neurotransmitters, a person’s own worldview and his concentration on a particular state .

Genetics. If the next of kin has tinnitus, the risk of tinnitus becomes higher.

Aura in epilepsy. There are such forms of epilepsy when a person feels an aura before an attack. It can be olfactory, visual or auditory.

Exposure to loud noise. Regular exposure to loud noise in professional activities often causes hearing impairment and tinnitus.

Meniere‘s disease is a disease accompanied by transient dizziness, ringing and stuffy ears, temporary hearing loss.

An auditory nerve neurinoma is a benign tumor that affects the nerve leading from the cochlea to the brain centers, and causes noise and hearing loss on the one hand.

If the noise is felt as pulsating, it is most likely due to vascular pathology — anemia, tortuosity of brachiocephalic vessels, inadequate blood flow in the brain, uneven regulation of vascular tone, Kimmerli anomaly.

Tinnitus can also occur in diseases such as diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and multiple sclerosis.

What should I do if you start noticing tinnitus?

Шум в ушах: в чем причины, и когда надо беспокоиться

Before visiting a doctor (and you can’t do without him), you need to monitor blood pressure for several days. The first specialists to turn to are a surdologist and a neurologist. To diagnose your condition, they will conduct the necessary tests, for example, an audiological examination, and also recommend other necessary studies.

How to reduce the effect of tinnitus on your own?

  • Regular monitoring of blood pressure;

  • Use headphones less and avoid prolonged stay in places with a high background sound, if necessary, use earplugs;

  • Regulate stress through meditation, breathing exercises or relaxing in the fresh air. If necessary, use the services of a psychologist;

  • Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages, tobacco and products containing caffeine;

  • Exercise regularly: physical activity improves blood circulation and helps to reduce tinnitus.

Neurologist at the children’s clinic “SM-Doctor” on Cosmonaut Volkov Street.

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