If a ringing, hissing, or crackling sound in your ear is bothering you, you are most probably suffering from a condition called tinnitus. Tinnitus is not so much a disease but a symptom to a host of different ailments. Around 36 million Americans have this condition. In general, it is only the patient who actually hears the noise. At a certain level, some amounts of head noise can be considered normal. It can be likened to going into a quiet room and suddenly noticing the low sounds created by a ticking clock or shuffling feet or any such sounds that usually get masked by other noises. If for some reason something blocks outside noise from your ear, for instance a foreign body in the external ear, or ear wax, you will become conscious of the sounds from your own head. Other causes of tinnitus may be an infection or fluids in the ear. It could also be brought about by disease related to the eardrum, that is, the tympanic membrane, or turbulence from high blood pressure near the ears. A common cause among older people is nerve damage in the inner ear. People exposed to very loud noises such as firearms or loud music, have also been reported to develop tinnitus. There are rare cases when tinnitus is actually a symptom of serious conditions such as brain aneurysm or brain tumor. A physician diagnoses tinnitus through evaluation of the patient's symptoms. He or She will usually require a hearing test if the tinnitus is persistent. To rule out serious conditions such as brain tumors, your doctor may require a computer tomography scan (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Once the specific cause of your tinnitus has been identified, the physician can make treatment recommendations. There is no singular specific treatment for tinnitus. Treatment can range from clearing the ear canal of earwax plugs, to surgical intervention, in the case of brain tumors. For non-serious but really bothersome cases, a white-noise producing device may be recommended to mask out the tinnitus. Some researches have been conducted for certain medications, but as yet, none have been found to be conclusively effective in curing tinnitus. In cases of nerve damage to the actual hearing organ, the patient might just have to live with the condition Remedies that bring relief include the avoidance of caffeine, salt and smoking. For patients who have a zinc deficiency, taking zinc supplements sometimes helps. Some patients suffering from sleep disturbances due to the tinnitus gain relief by taking melatonin. Some treatment centers offer tinnitus retraining therapy which uses a low-level broadband noise and counseling to help patients create the habit of ignoring the annoying sounds, so that they do not get bothered by them anymore. Taking care of your hearing organ is the best option for avoiding tinnitus. If your work environment exposes you to very loud noises, follow your employer's guidelines for protecting your ears. If you have been prescribed medications, such as high blood pressure medications, take them, so as not to develop tinnitus related to your other health conditions. Be careful when using cotton swabs for cleaning the ears as they may cause impaction of wax near the ear drum and cause tinnitus. For more information on tinnitus, visit Triumph Tinnitus Today. Another useful resource is Tinnitus Miracle. Related Articles - ringing in the ears, ringing, ears, tinnitus, diagnosis, treatment, Email this Article to a Friend! Receive Articles like this one direct to your email box!Subscribe for free today!
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