Tinnitus can be defined as the condition where a person hears buzzing, wuthering etc. that do not come from external sources. Tinnitus, which is sometimes perceived as mild, may severely occur in some patients. Tinnitus, which may occur as a precursor or result of different diseases such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or circulatory system diseases, rather than being a health problem in itself, may be seen in one or both ears. The frequency of tinnitus increases with advancing age.
Symptoms of Tinnitus
The most distinct symptom of tinnitus is hearing sounds such as ringing, wuthering, clicking, hissing in one or both ears, even though there is no external sound. These continuous ghost sounds may cause a psychological problem in the person as well as reducing her/his quality of life.
If tinnitus can only be heard by the person, it is classified as “subjective tinnitus”, and if it can be heard by others other than the patient, it is “objective tinnitus”. Objective tinnitus is rare and occurs as a result of spasm of the inner ear muscles, increased blood flow to the ear or anomalies in the vessels surrounding the ear.
Causes of Tinnitus
Many different health problems may lead to tinnitus or increase existing tinnitus. Although the exact cause is not known, damaged hearing cells in the inner ear, chronic diseases, exposure to trauma affecting the auditory cortex in the brain, and ear diseases are considered to cause tinnitus. Apart from all these factors, I can state that age-related hearing loss, exposure to very high noise, earwax, anomalies in ear bones, Ménière’s disease, Temporomandibular joint disorders, allergic rhinitis, otitis media with effusion, problems in the eardrum, “acoustic neuroma” of nerves that provide balance and hearing, hypertension, vascular calcification in the middle ear and inner ear may lead to tinnitus.
Although people with tinnitus are affected in different types, I can say that tinnitus generally reduces the quality of life, triggers sleep disorders, increases stress, causes fatigue, reveals concentration problems, leads to anxiety and discomfort.
Treatment of tinnitus is based on determining the health problem causing tinnitus and evaluating treatment options in line with this problem. Thus, the diagnosis processes of patients with tinnitus should be detailed as much as possible.