About 50 million US citizens between 60 and 75 are afflicted with a hearing disorder known as tinnitus. More common in men than women, the main manifestation of tinnitus is hearing sounds that nobody else can hear.

These sounds may be experienced as coming from the ear itself, or from inside the head. Even though the character of the sound may differ, quite possibly the most commonly-reported usually are long-term high-pitched ringing, whistling, roaring, buzzing, or humming noises, or even a fast clicking sound much like crickets chirping. Sometimes the clicking sounds are rhythmic or pulsating, as though it is in synch with the person’s heartbeat. Many instances are generally identified as subjective tinnitus, meaning that just the person stricken will be able to hear the particular sound, however in rare cases of objective tinnitus, a health care provider may actually hear a sound.

Tinnitus often seems to indicate a condition developing in one of the four areas of the auditory system – the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain – and as a result is more of a manifestation of other issues than a disease alone. Although not a form of hearing loss by itself, it is often associated with other kinds of either conductive or sensorineural hearing loss. Though because tinnitus causes visitors to hear the buzzing or ringing sound continually, this can have the effect of decreasing an individual’s absolute threshold of hearing, which makes it more difficult to hear low-level sounds normally.

There are various causes of tinnitus, but the most widespread is getting older, and age-related hearing loss. Other causes can include being exposed to loud noises or music, changes in or degeneration of the bone structure or hair cells of your inner ear, stress and depression, and injuries that cause shock to the head, neck area or ears. Tinnitus is occasionally viewed as a secondary symptom of other conditions, most notably Meniere’s disease, TMJ disorder, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and some tumors. Ringing in the ears may also be caused by prescription and non-prescription drugs, such as antibiotics, medicines used to combat cancer or malaria, or even aspirin, when consumed excessively.

There is no certain solution or treatment for tinnitus.Some cases go away without any intervention after a couple of months. Others have been adequately cared for using pharmaceutical or nutrition therapy, electrical stimulation, or a surgical procedure. If you have or think you might have tinnitus, see a specialist for an assessment.

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