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Tinnitus - Heartbeat in ear

Definition

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound when in the external world there is no sound at all. Some call it \'ringing in the ears\', and it is a common condition – one of five people has tinnitus. However, tinnitus is not a disease, it\'s rather a sign of an underlying problem may be an ear injury, hearing loss due to aging or disorder of the circulatory system. It may look harmless, but tinnitus is something a person should consult his or her doctor about because it may conceal something more serious.

Symptoms

Symptoms of tinnitus include ringing, whistling, hissing, buzzing, roaring or clicking sounds. These noises nobody else can hear vary in strength and are not present all the time. Depending on the kind of the noise, tinnitus can be subjective (only a person reporting tinnitus can hear it), and objective (the doctor examining the patient can hear it).

Causes

Underlying problems or sometimes manifest themselves through tinnitus. Those may be damage of the inner ear cell, chronic health problems and injuries of auditory nerves. Another common cause of tinnitus is hearing loss due to aging. Also, exposure to loud noise can damage hearing and cause tinnitus, just like earwax blockage or changes in ear bones. Other causes of tinnitus that are less common are disease of the inner ear, stress and depression, head and neck injuries, tumor that runs from a person\'s brain to the inner ear. Certain medications cause tinnitus. Those are diuretics, medications for cancers and malaria, high doses of Aspirin, and certain kinds of antibiotics.

Complications and treatment

If untreated, tinnitus can ruin the quality of life because it causes fatigue, depression, problems with attention and memory, irritability, problems with sleep, anxiety. It is thus very important for a person to see a doctor in the case of tinnitus. According to a person\'s symptoms, the doctor will determine what are the underlying conditions that have to be treated. He may have to remove the earwax, treat a blood vessel condition, or perhaps change the medication the person is taking. Sometimes the doctor may suggest using a white noise machine for suppressing the noise, hearing aid or masking device which acts similarly to white noise machine. Tinnitus can be prevented by avoiding potential irritants, covering up the noise, avoiding stressful situations, living healthier life-style, which primarily means drinking less alcohol. People should take greater care of their health. For instance, they should protect themselves from loud noise such as loud music, chainsaws, firearms. Healthy lifestyle is important for treating conditions such as tinnitus, but it is beneficial for preventing them from happening, as well.

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