Tinnitus refers to a prevalent hearing disorder in which you hear strange and constant noises such as ringing, buzzing, whooshing, and so on in the ears. You might hear these strange, debilitating sounds constantly in one or both of your ears. However, you may not be able to find an external source for these sounds. This condition is “tinnitus.” Better known as “ringing in the year,” it occurs internally due to musculoskeletal or cardiovascular movement.
While these sounds cause you anxiety, depression, pain, and stress, people around you might not even get a hint of the sound. Experts refer to this type as “subjective tinnitus.” On the other hand, if people in close proximity to you can listen or feel the sound closely, experts call it “objective tinnitus.” Although it is usually a sign of aging, it can occur due to underlying serious medical issues as well.
Symptoms of Tinnitus and Sound Disorders
The most common symptom of tinnitus that many people mention is ringing in the ears. Nevertheless, there is a broad range of these strange noises and sounds that can affect your daily life. Here are some:
Normally, people affected with tinnitus experience the subjective type, in which they are the only ones who can hear these constant noises and sounds. These noises range between high and low in terms of pitches. Often, they may be as disturbing as a constantly high-pitched squeal. Therefore, you may understand how devastating their impact on a person’s lifestyle may be. The sounds can be loud enough to obstruct your concentration and rest. In some cases, they may interfere with your ability to hear external sounds.
Rare cases of sound disorders and tinnitus can result in whooshing and rhythmic pulsing noises. This occurs in a type of tinnitus known as “pulsatile tinnitus.” The noise, in this case, beats rhythmically with your pulse and may also be perceivable by another person examining you.
General Causes of Tinnitus and Sound Disorders | Buzzing in the Ear
There are various health conditions that experts believe lead to hearing loss and tinnitus alike. While there is no concrete evidence as to how these interconnect, they do affect tinnitus and worsen it in many cases. The general causes include:
- Hearing loss: Cochlea deformity due to several medical reasons, including any accidents or injuries.
- Ear infections: Probably due to ear wax buildup or bacteria accumulation that harms the health of the inner parts of one or both of your ears.
- Medications: Specific medicinal drugs have a health effect that often impacts your ears’ inner condition adversely. Consulting your previous medications with your doctor can help to determine whether it is a cause of tinnitus in your ear.
- Neck and head injuries: These pertain to damage to the internal sound-sensitive organs in one or both of your ears which results in hearing disability and tinnitus.
When is Immediate Medical Care Imperative?
You might not know when your hearing has worsened until you experience chronic symptoms. Speaking of sound disorders like tinnitus, you should know the right time to procure medical attention. While it is best to seek early treatments and diagnosis when experiencing acute to mild symptoms, you should seek medical care when the sounds become constant, high-pitched, frequent, and/or vary in pattern.
Furthermore, if tinnitus is starting to affect your daily life, such as when you are not able to comprehend external sounds, concentrate, or suffer from anxiety (or any other psychological issue), you should seek medical care.
In addition, if you feel dizzy, light-headed, or become depressed, you should immediately see a medical expert for quick treatment and long-term evaluation.
What Treatments are Available for Sound Disorders and Tinnitus?
Your doctor might prescribe antibiotic ear drops, anti-inflammatory pills/ear drops, and similar medication to help alleviate the discomfort and symptoms. Though, remember that tinnitus is mostly incurable, so you can’t expect the medication to cure it instantly. Aside from that, your doctor may also advise prescription drugs to counter anxiety and depression.
TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy)
TRT treatment works in conjunction with and presence of an audiologist who is an auditory expert. The main concept of this treatment method is to combine the most effective approaches: professional counseling and the use of sound-minimizing/masking devices along. The sound masking decreases your attention and bothersome awareness towards tinnitus noises, while the directive counseling helps you ignore them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT Therapy is also a form of counseling that requires a trained psychologist or similar professional. They help you define your thought process on tinnitus noises that leads to anger, anxiety, depression, and other effects. From then on, they help you construct a thought process of your own that is less bothered by tinnitus noises. Hence, you ignore the noises and perceive them as neutral sounds.
Buzzing in the Ears: Conclusion
Are you or a loved one currently experiencing tinnitus symptoms? If so, you should get in touch with Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R at the Tinnitus Cognitive Center™, who specializes in dealing with tinnitus and related health conditions.
Give us a call to set an appointment for an online consultation or treatment today.
Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R
19 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001