Tinnitus: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Tinnitus(Ringing In the Ears) is the perception or the ability to hear sounds such as ringing, buzzing in one or both the ears that originates from the ears itself in the absence of corresponding external sound. Tinnitus is not a disease, it’s just a symptom of various underlying causes such as ear infection, obstruction, foreign bodies in ears etc. Studies show that Tinnitus is more common among white people and nearly 12 percent of men who are between 65 to 74 years get affected by tinnitus. Let’s now see the causes, symptoms and treatment for Tinnitus in detail.
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise in most cases.
- Damage in the microscopic endings of inner ear hearing nerves.
- Bacterial infections.
- A side effect of advancing age – hearing degeneration.
- Head injuries or partial ear blockage.
- Hearing Ringing or buzzing sound or whistling sound in the absence corresponding external sound.
- Disrupted sleep.
- Partial hearing loss.
If Tinnitus is due to infection then it can be cured by Antobiotics. Noise-induced or degenerative tinnitus cannot be cured completely. Generally it is considered a permanent disability and the patient has to live with it. Though niacin is recommended for tinnitus treatment by doctors there is no scientific proof. Vitamin B12 helps to reduce the ringing, and Ginkgo biloba increases blood flow in the ears.
Medical Treatment for intense Tinnitus: Tinnitus becomes intense and extremely bothersome only in rare cases and some treatments are available. Though some medications are available none of them provide a effective long term relief.
Intravenous lidocaine was studied for its effectiveness in tinnitus relief. In one study, 85 percent of people got partial or total relief from tinnitus but the relief lasted only for about 30 minutes. The study concluded saying that in future some appropriate drugs that may provide long-term relief can be found and the research is going.
Alprazolam is another drug that’s really promising. It is an anti-anxiety medication. A study was conducted and in that people treated with Alprazolam had their tinnitus symptoms reduced by 40 percent they also had a reduction in tinnitus loudness.
Overall studies indicate that, with continued research, soon a effective and permanent cure may be found.