Ringing of the Ears
A ringing sound in the ears can be very annoying; and yet in most cases it is not considered a serious medical condition. Of course, for the person hearing the constant ringing of the ears – or buzzing, roaring, whistling, hissing, chirping, beating, humming, whooshing, or clanging sound – it can be maddening.
This condition of ringing in the ears is known as tinnitus and it presents itself differently from one person to the next. The actual nature or type of sound can vary considerably among tinnitus sufferers. Additionally, for some the severity of the noise heard is extreme; others, more fortunately, hear only a relatively mild sound. The pitch of the sound also varies; some hear a very high pitch and others a moderate or very low pitch. Tinnitus sufferers may describe the pitch from a low roar all the way to a high squeal. And some hear such a loud noise that their ability to concentrate or even to sleep is regularly compromised. Obviously, a continual ringing in the ears is most bothersome in places like school or work where the individual needs to hear clearly and concentrate on listening, learning or performing tasks. Even a highly disciplined, focused person can be disrupted by these constant sounds. Tinnitus sufferers may have symptoms in one or both ears and some even experience the ringing of the ears occasionally alternating from one ear to the other. It should go without saying that for some the tinnitus interferes with their general ability to hear well.
Two types of tinnitus are known. The most common type – subjective tinnitus – is less understood. It is caused by actual damage in the inner ear canal; often this damage is the result of exposure to loud noises. The loud noises heard bend the tiny hair cells within the inner ear so much that they actually break off. If breakage does occur the damage becomes permanent. Fortunately, the hairs do not always break after the loud noise exposure and the tinnitus goes away after a few days. Beyond the inner ear, damage or problems can occur at other points in the auditory system all the way from the ear canal to the brain and may result in tinnitus.
Objective tinnitus is the other type; it is also known as pulsatile tinnitus. In this less common form of tinnitus; patients describe the sound as rhythmic or pulsing. This form presents in individuals with hypertension, heart murmur, a glomus tumor, abnormal veins or arteries, Eustachian tube disorder and other cardiovascular conditions. Pulsatile tinnitus is also called atherosclerosis. For the majority of tinnitus sufferers they are the only ones who actually hear the ringing or noise; but not so with pulsatile (atherosclerosis) tinnitus. Here there is a structural problem in the ear and the patient actually hears their own pulse as it moves through the ear. The sound can also be heard by the doctor who is listening through a stethoscope placed near the ear or neck.
Tinnitus is relatively common with an estimated one out of every five people experiencing symptoms to some degree. Unfortunately, cures are less common with most people finding that they need to learn how to live with it.Ear Ringing Cures