Neurologist

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Tinnitus

Tinnitus is caused by a misinterpretation by the brain of signals from the nerves in the ear.

An ear

Symptoms of tinnitus

Tinnitus is a sound that’s heard in one or both ears for which there’s no external source. The sounds appear to originate within the ear and are described as ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing or whistling. There is nothing actually causing the sounds, it is a misinterpretation by the brain of signals from the nerves in the ear.

Episodes of tinnitus may be brief or it can be a permanent problem. The noise can affect concentration and causeinsomnia. When it’s very disruptive, it can cause anxiety and occasionally leads to depression.

Around 15 per cent of people experience tinnitus at some stage and it’s more likely to occur after the age of 60.

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Causes of tinnitus

Tinnitus can be associated with any abnormal condition of the ear and is often linked to hearing loss, particularly related to ageing (presbyacusis).

Common causes of tinnitus include:

Tinnitus that occurs in only one ear should be take more seriously as it may be caused by an acoustic neuroma, a rare tumour that grows around the acoustic nerve that connects the ear to the brain.

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Tinnitus treatments

Avoiding exposure to loud noise and earwax build-up can help prevent tinnitus. If there’s a treatable underlying cause, once this is treated the tinnitus should disappear.

Reassurance that the tinnitus isn’t being caused by a serious problem often solves the problem.

Masking the noise with a background radio or a masking device (using white noise) helps to distract the person from the tinnitus.

Counselling and antidepressant therapy may be used if the symptoms are causing anxiety and depression.

http://www.bbc.co.uk

 

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August 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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