Photo by Sylvie Tittel on Unsplash

It’s an insidious condition, one which doesn’t sound like much to complain of in comparison with other serious illnesses and yet can drive it’s suffers to despair, damage relationships, fracture mental health and physical health and rob the person who has it of sleep, joy and hope. Yet studies estimate that up to ten per cent of the population worldwide suffer from tinnitus. A constant ringing sound the ears, the condition can be deeply distressing and extremely detrimental to a sufferer’s quality of life. There are many different causes, from infection to trauma or injury to the ear, a build-up of wax or even prolonged exposure to extremely high noise levels. So is there a way to live with this debilitating condition?

What Exactly Is Tinnitus?

The condition is a collective term for a range of different noises suffers perceive constantly in their hearing. It isn’t actually a condition in and of itself – rather, tinnitus is a symptom related to another underlying cause. This could be anything from an injury suffered to the ear, a temporary effect of constant noise exposure above a certain decibel level, a disorder with the circulatory system, or even just age-related natural hearing loss. Although the condition can be extremely hard to cope with, it is not usually a sign of a serious health condition. Although there is no single cure for tinnitus, many people find it can improve with one or several of an array of treatment methods and options which have developed. Treatments commonly fall into one of two categories – either the underlying cause of which tinnitus is the symptom can be treated, and the condition either drastically lessens or goes away all together, or other treatments can help to mask or tune out the noise, making it much more bearable for the sufferer.

Types of Tinnitus And Their Symptoms

The bones in the ear are designed to amplify noise – and this can work against is sometimes. If you have tinnitus, you’re hearing a sound when there isn’t any externally present. These can vary from person to person and depending on the underlying cause – from the most common ringing or buzzing sound, to roaring, humming, hissing or even clicking. Tinnitus can affect only one ear, or both together, and varies from a low pitch to a high one – sometimes it can come and go, and in others it is constantly present. Some suffers find it relatively bearable, if annoying, while others find it interferes severely with their ability to hear other sounds or even to concentrate on a task. Tinnitus can be divided into two categories. The first is subjective tinnitus – by far the most common sort. The sound is only apparent to the sufferer, and the cause can usually be traced to ear problems in the outer, middle or inner ear, issues with auditory nerves or pathways in the brain which interprets signals from your nerves into sound. A rarer form, objective tinnitus can be heard by the doctor when they perform an examination. This type is usually caused by an issue with the blood vessels, a condition of the middle ear bone or occasionally by muscle contractions.

Living With The Condition

Because there are so many causes of which tinnitus is a symptom, there is no one universal treatment which works for every case. Of course, where the condition has been caused by factors such as an ear infection, the affliction is only temporary, and can usually be treated relatively easily with a course of antibiotics – in which case, the sufferer can emerge completely cured. In other cases, no such cure is possible, and it then becomes about managing the symptoms, reducing its severity, avoiding triggers for the condition and developing tactics within your lifestyle to cope. If that is the case, seeking out a free guide for tinnitus treatment can help you decide on the best treatment – or combination of treatments – for you. First of all, try to avoid undue anxiety or stress. This can be a powerful trigger the potential to over stimulate a hearing system which is already sensitive. Making sure you are well rested and avoiding getting overly fatigued can also help with managing the condition. You;d be well advised to avoid stimulants which agitate the nervous system, such as coffee and other caffeinated beverages, nicotine from smoking or vaping, alcohol or any other drugs. When it comes to sleep, suffers often find this the most challenging part of their day. Bolster your chances of a full night’s sleep by propping your head up in an elevated position using extra pillows – this lessens the congestion of sinuses in your head, helping any tinnitus to become less noticeable. Lymphatic massage techniques for the face can also help to drain the lymph nodes and reduce pressure in the head. For many, the tinnitus becomes more noticeable in the quiet of a bedroom, so counterthis with a radio playing at a very low volume or a clock that ticks, or by using a special tinnitus masker to help the noise lessen. Make sure you use ear defenders and stay away from excessively loud situations like music festivals or gigs, as this can cause your condition to worsen.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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