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					Tinnitus – Causes and Treatment

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Description of the conditon called Tinnitus. General information on
Tinnitus and the various treatments available for it.

tinnitus, hearing, ears

Article Body:
<b>What is Tinnitus</b>
Tinnitus is a symptom and not a condition in itself. Tinnitus describes
the symptom of being able to hear things which nobody else can, although
in a rare number of cases, this isn’t true. Tinnitus is a very common
condition with approximately 10% of the population suffering from
Tinnitus to one degree or another. It is most commonly found in elderly
people although it is becoming much more widespread in the younger
population. Also, Tinnitus can be found in one or both ears or sometimes
it feels like it is coming from the middle of your head.

The Symptoms of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is most commonly found in elderly people although possibly due
to the different lifestyles it is becoming much more common in younger
people now. Maybe this is due to the fact that people are living in
noisier environments today.

The sounds which are heard vary from patient to patient. Some patients
hear a musical tone, although most patients hear something which sounds
more like a hissing or whistling or a buzzing or a ringing noise. For a
lot of patients, it is more of an inconvenience and doesn’t affect their
daily lives although for a number of patients, it is so bad that they
need some kind of treatment to relieve the symptoms

<b>The Causes of Tinnitus</b>
Tinnitus is caused by damage to the nerves in the inner ear (cochlea).
These nerves transmit electrical impulses to the brain which the brain
then interprets as sounds. When these nerves are damaged, the signal
becomes distorted. When this distorted signal gets to the brain, the
brain interprets it as a noise which is Tinnitus.

In elderly people, it is seen as part of growing older and is called
presbyacusis. However, in younger people medical professionals believe
it is due to be exposed to loud noises.

There are other causes of Tinnitus as well which include Anemia – where
the thin blood rushes around the body so quickly that it can cause a
sound. Excessive wax in the ear can also cause tinnitus. Menieres
Disease which is a condition affecting balance can also have a side
effect of Tinnitus. Some drugs both legal and illegal can cause Tinnitus
as the body reacts to them.

<b>The Treatment of Tinnitus</b>
 For most patients, there is no cure for Tinnitus. Most treatments
simply relieve the symptoms by masking the cause of Tinnitus.

Tinnitus is sometimes strongly related to the patients level of stress.
By managing this level of stress via the use of sedatives, tranquilizers
or anti-depressants, the symptoms of tinnitus can be relieved.

Some drugs which affect the conduction of electrical impulses in the
affected nerves have been found to relieve the symptoms of stress.

There are a number of self help measures which patients can employ either
on their own or in tandem with any assistance that a doctor can
prescribe. These include listening to soothing music on a personal
stereo before the patient goes to sleep. There are white noise
generators which can mask the noise inside your head. This means that
you can’t hear the noise generated by tinnitus.

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