Tinnitus is characterized by a perception of sound in ears with no external cause. This sound can come in the form of ringing, beeping, clicking, hissing, buzzing, etc. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom. There are many causes, but it is very common in patients with hearing loss.
There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. In objective tinnitus, the physician can hear the sound with a tube in the ear. It is caused by the contraction of muscles in the middle ear and is usually treated with muscle relaxants. Subjective tinnitus, which is far more common, requires a physical examination and diagnostic evaluation to determine its cause. It can be the result of something as simple as earwax blockage to health conditions such as sensorineural hearing loss.
Approximately 10-15% of people will experience tinnitus in their lifetimes. It can be extremely bothersome, especially for those dealing with it chronically. Although there is no “cure” for tinnitus, treating the underlying cause can help.
Researchers at the House Institute Foundation strive to understand what happens in the brain to cause tinnitus. Beyond that, we are committed to find innovative treatments designed to improve the lives of individuals living with this symptom.
- Found that tinnitus can be aggravated by anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue
- Found that impulses coming from muscles, such as the neck, can cause or intensify the perceived loudness of tinnitus
- Found that relaxation exercises such as biofeedback or yoga can be helpful
- Clinical drug trials are underway for the treatment of tinnitus.
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