Tinnitus is a person’s perception of sound in the absence of any audible stimuli outside. The sound heard by the person in this sound perception varies in different tones and features. This causes the tinnitus to be felt as mild or severe. This ringing usually manifests itself in the form of hum, strong wind, bells, whistles, rustling, machinery noise and pulsing of the side. Generally, high-intensity ones are in the form of a pulse and make itself felt in every environment. Mild tinnitus are usually felt at night and in quiet environments. Tinnitus can be long-lasting tinnitus that significantly affects the psychological state of the person, or it can sometimes be in the form of tinnitus that lasts for a few minutes.
With tinnitus, a thin and high-pitched sound is heard in the ear. No one can hear this sound except the patient who complains about this situation. In some rare cases, it can also be heard by physicians who examine it with special techniques. However, tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. For example, if tinnitus appears suddenly and progresses rapidly, problems such as dizziness, hearing loss, headache and loss of balance that develop with tinnitus should be taken into account. The main symptom of any disease that can cause hearing loss, especially in the ear nose and throat area, can be tinnitus. Inner ear inflammation can occur as a result of a hole in the eardrum, inflammation or a tumor in the auditory nerve.
Causes of Tinnitus
Tinnitus can have many different causes. It can be said that there is a direct relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus. However, besides hearing loss, some systemic diseases can also be the cause of tinnitus.
Conditions such as earwax, calcification in the middle ear, perforation of the eardrum, otitis media, fluid accumulation in the middle ear, and damage to the inner ear cells cause tinnitus.
Allergy, blood pressure fluctuations, vascular occlusion, cholesterol, ear pressure called meniere, diabetes, menopause, hormonal changes, traumas in the head and neck region, thyroid-related causes, vascular enlargement called aneurysm, tumor in the nerves that provide hearing, wrong medication use , neurological, metabolic and psychiatric diseases, sleep disorders are also conditions that can cause tinnitus.
Anemia and iron deficiency, blood diseases, kidney failure also cause tinnitus.
In cases where listening to loud music is continuous, tinnitus occurs because it can cause permanent damage to the inner ear cells.
Your doctor makes a diagnosis after listening to your history of the disease. At this stage, it is important to diagnose when the tinnitus starts, whether there is a viral disease accompanying the tinnitus, whether there is exposure to noise or trauma. After listening to the patient’s history, ear examination, audiometric and radiological examination are performed depending on the situation. With the audiometric examination, dirt or residue that may cause obstruction in the external ear canal, conditions that may cause a ringing in the eardrum or middle ear are examined. Hearing loss and its location are determined. In case of hearing loss at high frequencies, radiological examination is performed with MR or computed tomography and the possibility of tumor is investigated. In cases where no symptoms are observed in these methods, iron, sugar, vitamin B12, cholesterol and zinc deficiency are checked. If deemed necessary after audiometric and radiological examinations, surgical treatment can also be applied.
Depending on the cause of tinnitus, treatment methods also vary. After the ear examination, tinnitus can be treated by removing earwax or foreign body from the ear. In middle ear infections, treatment of the inflammation or treatment of the fluid in the middle ear cavity may be recommended. However, inflammation in the ear bone and perforation of the eardrum may require surgical treatment. If conditions such as auditory nerve tumor are seen after the radiological examination, surgical treatment is applied. Hearing aids may be recommended for patients with tinnitus resulting from hearing loss. Patients who feel tinnitus in a quiet environment at night may be advised to keep sound-making devices such as clock, radio and television turned on. In reducing tinnitus, avoiding loud music, controlling blood pressure, avoiding beverages such as coffee and cola, avoiding smoking, avoiding salty foods and exercising are among the things that should be done.
Among the treatments of tinnitus, treatment methods such as patient psychotherapy, bioresonance, hyperbaric oxygen can be applied according to the condition of the patients, as well as the treatment methods using laser biomagnetic effect.
If your doctor deems it appropriate, blood thinners or vasodilators can also be given to increase the nutrition of the inner ear and to get more oxygen to the hearing center of the brain. In some cases, if tinnitus is thought to be caused by the side effects of drug use due to other diseases, the way these drugs are used can be changed or discontinued as recommended by your doctor.