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What can I do if I have tinnitus?

More than one in two of the German population has noticed and experienced tinnitus at some point in their life. Have you already had experience with it? Chronic tinnitus has already been recorded in 20% of the population. This lasts longer than three months on average. Symptoms begin especially between the ages of 40 and 50. With us you can find out everything about tinnitus: causes, forms, symptoms and methods of treatment.

Tinnitus is a technical term for the perception of unpleasant noises in the ear. The name is derived from the original Latin word, which means "to ring" in German. You can only hear and perceive the noises in your ear as the person affected. These do not have their origin in a source of noise, but are found directly

The buzz in your ears can be either rhythmic or constant. As a person affected, you experience these symptoms at different levels. There may be other secondary symptoms as well. Side effects are:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • a headache
  • Trouble sleeping

Different forms of tinnitus

You can experience different forms of tinnitus. A distinction is made as follows:

  • Acute
  • lens
  • subjective

 Most cases of tinnitus are about the subjective form. In the case of the subjective form, there is an error in the processing at the points of transmission of the sound and the sensation of the sound itself.

Functional disorders can occur in the area of ​​the middle ear up to the cortex. If the attenuation is poor, the sound pressure is increased. It is through the small muscles in the middle ear that the ringing in the ear or tinnitus occurs. 

Chronic or acute tinnitus

 With chronic or acute tinnitus, you hear a very unpleasant noise in the ear that can occur suddenly. This sound lasts for up to three months. In contrast to acute tinnitus, chronic tinnitus means noises in the ears that last longer than three months. Chronic therefore means permanent. It is also decisive whether the quality of life is almost not or partially restricted. In this case, a distinction is made between compensated and uncompensated tinnitus.

Spontaneous improvement or healing of symptoms is common in acute tinnitus. If the ringing in the ears persists, the risk of chronic illness also increases.

The subjective tinnitus

 There are many different possibilities and causes of subjective tinnitus. A ring in the ears is very often heard when there is a foreign body in the ear. The same also applies to typical diseases such as otitis media. In addition to these typical diseases, stress can also lead to subjective tinnitus. The same goes for sudden hearing loss or hearing loss that can be associated with tinnitus.

What are the symptoms of subjective tinnitus?

  • Ear infections
  • Foreign body in the ear canal
  • bacterial and viral infections
  • Acoustic trauma
  • Middle ear diseases with disturbance of sound transmission
  • Diving accidents
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Autoimmune disease of the inner ear
  • a tumor
  • stress
  • Hearing loss
  • Problems with the cervical spine
  • Problems in the dental jaw area

Objective tinnitus

In the case of objective tinnitus, the noises in the ears can also be heard and perceived or measured by the examining person. Only in this case is there an objective tinnitus. Compared to subjective tinnitus, however, objective tinnitus occurs relatively rarely.

The symptoms of objective tinnitus are: 
  • Acute dysfunction in the ear trumpet
  • Tension in the middle ear
  • Flow sounds in the arteries that can be heard
  • Breathing sounds in the ear

The causes of tinnitus

So far it has only been partially clarified what the reasons for the development of subjective tinnitus can actually be. Certain medications that affect the auditory nerve can also be a possible cause. If the ears are healthy, an electrical impulse will spontaneously occur in the areas of the nerves. We are talking about a so-called spontaneous activity.

This changes when the sound hits the ear. As a result, sound information is transmitted to the brain. However, if there is an impairment of the auditory nerve, it will affect spontaneous activity. This activity then arrives reduced or changed over time. If the spontaneous activity deviates, this may cause a subjective tinnitus. However, tinnitus can also develop in the brain.

If the tinnitus develops in the brain, it is called central tinnitus. The information is incorrectly transmitted. The transmission path lies between the hair cells in the ear and the brain itself. If there are disruptions in this transmission path, this can lead to tinnitus.

However, stress is the main cause of tinnitus. When you experience stress, your body reacts to it in a variety of ways. For example, the hormone called cortisone is released. This release causes your blood vessels to constrict. This affects and impairs blood circulation. As a result, the small blood vessels or the so-called capillaries are also affected. These are also located in your inner ear. The process leads to vascular occlusions. Then the inner ear is no longer supplied with enough blood. However, it has not yet been finally clarified how stress causes tinnitus.

Does a hearing aid help with tinnitus?

More than 50% percent of people who have tinnitus experience hearing loss at the same time. The quality of life can be significantly increased with a hearing aid. The hearing loss can be compensated for with the hearing aid. This will help you to better perceive outside noises. It is best to combine the hearing aid with a so-called tinnitus noiser.

That is why many people with noises in their ears rely on a hearing aid with such an integrated tinnitus noiser for therapy. It is a technical addition to the hearing aid itself. In this way, the tinnitus can be treated in a particularly targeted manner. The principle of distraction is used.

 The hearing aid creates calming, positive sound impressions. These replace the negative tone of tinnitus. As a wearer of such a hearing aid, you can choose from numerous different pleasant sounds.

The noise is always quieter than the tinnitus in comparison. So the brain can againlearn that it is focused on the sounds of the environment. The wearer no longer or only slightly fixes on the noises in the ears. With the help of this therapy, the brain can learn to get used to the sounds and fades them out after a certain time.

The number of tinnitus patients is relatively high worldwide. That is why many hearing aid manufacturers have specialized in this problem. You can choose from many models from well-known manufacturers. Do you need a hearing aid with this kind of technology? You are very welcome to contact us with your tinnitus problem. Contact us for this, because we are at your side in a particularly customer-oriented manner.

Hearing loss and tinnitus

Many people who have tinnitus also suffer from hearing loss. Studies on therapy and ringing in the ears have found that almost 95% of all patients with tinnitus also have hearing impairment. Bilateral hearing impairment is present in 89% of patients. Only 5% of patients have impaired hearing.

It has not yet been clarified whether the hearing loss can lead to tinnitus. However, it is assumed that damaged hearing is a direct cause of the tinnitus. Many sufferers who have had hearing impairment for a long time also have chronic tinnitus. The hearing aid is therefore an adequate method for you to treat your hearing impairment on the one hand and to prevent tinnitus on the other.

How is a subjective hearing test carried out?

During a subjective hearing test, your ear, nose and throat doctor will check how you can perceive sound with your ears. As a patient, you sit in a specially soundproofed room. You put on headphones for this test. The hearing test is then carried out on the basis of various tones and frequencies. At the push of a button you can signal as soon as you can hear a tone. In this way, your ear, nose and throat doctor can detect hearing loss and draw conclusions about any tinnitus that may be present.

What do otoacoustic emissions mean?

This is active sound radiation. These emissions come from the inner ear. Such emissions are often present, but they are not really perceived. They are created by the mechanical movement of the hair cells outside.

A distinction is made between evoked otoacoustic and spontaneous immissions. The measurement is carried out using objective audiometry. This checks the function of the outer hair cells. In this way, any clinically relevant hearing impairment can be derived. To do this, a small probe is inserted into your external ear canal.

The diagnosis of tinnitus

You should see your ear, nose and throat doctor if you hear tinnitus for one to three days. In order for this to be recognized, your ear, nose and throat doctor usually proceeds as follows:

You will be asked a few questions about your symptoms so that the cause can be determined and clarified. Now your ear canal and your eardrum will be examined with an ear mirror and a magnifying glass with light. Possible damage in the ear may be detected and recognized. Your doctor will also examine your nose and throat. Usually a hearing test or a so-called audiogram is created. Then the factors that are important for tinnitus are evaluated. Summary for diagnosis:

  • Noise in the ear analysis
  • subjective hearing test
  • Examination of the nose, ears and throat
  • Balance disorder test
  • Noise output from the inner ear is checked
  • objective hearing test
  • Magnetic resonance tomography
  • Blood test
  • Computed tomography of the skull
  • The jaw and cervical spine are examined

What forms of therapy are there for tinnitus?

As far as the forms of therapy for tinnitus are concerned, it always depends on the underlying causes. Therefore there are different known types of treatment. These can be:

  • Behavioral approaches
  • acoustic stimulation
  • electrical brain stimulation
  • magnetic brain stimulation
  • drug procedures
  • physical therapy

If the tinnitus is acute, treatment with vitamin supplements as well as cortisone and magnesium takes place immediately. Local anesthetics are given intravenously. It all depends on the extent of the tinnitus and what is causing it. Therapy can therefore also be given in tablet form or by infusion.

Music therapy for tinnitus

Research has shown that music therapy can be helpful for tinnitus. Through this application, the tinnitus can be reduced to a hum. It is believed that tinnitus arises because certain frequencies are missing that can no longer be heard by the patient.

Sustainable and successful therapy can be achieved through appropriate relaxation exercises. Successes have already been achieved which have been proven by magnetic resonance tomography.

After successful music therapy, you will no longer find the tinnitus so excruciating. Nevertheless, it makes sense if you improve the quality of your life with a hearing aid. It can also increase your chances of getting rid of tinnitus. This is particularly useful if you have accompanying hearing loss.

 When tinnitus occurs in old age

 In Germany there are 14 million people who suffer from hearing loss. Between ten and 15% of the German population have tinnitus. However, tinnitus is not limited to a specific age range. Tinnitus can also develop in a child. The majority of patients with tinnitus are between 50 and 80 years of age. The noise in the ears is more often found in women than in men. But in recent years, many cases have also been uncovered by young adults and adolescents. Thus tinnitus is becoming more and more common. For young people, too much noise at music concerts or loud music consumption can be the cause.

How can I prevent tinnitus?

Because there are different reasons for developing tinnitus, preventive measures are difficult to define. It is best to avoid damage from noise. Avoid various types of noise pollution and make sure that you have adequate hearing protection. You should also definitely avoid or reduce stress. Therefore, pay attention to an optimized time management and ensure enough buffer times in between. Never forget about your relaxation exercises. A healthy and balanced diet is highly recommended in addition to active stress management. This gives you more energy and enables you to master everyday life efficiently.

Contact your ear, nose and throat doctor immediately if you experience acute ringing in your ears. Short-term therapy can thus be initiated. This is usually done through medication. At best, this prevents long-term problems and damage. We also recommend regular examinations by your ear, nose and throat doctor, as well as expert examinations if you suspect it.In this way, the tinnitus can be recognized and treated as early as possible.

Acousticians with quality 

You are welcome to contact us about hearing aids and tinnitus, because we shine with experience and customer satisfaction. If you have any questions, feel free to call us or send us an email. We advise you without obligation and serious about hearing aids and better hearing. 

You have come to the right place with us when it comes to tinnitus and hearing aids. If necessary, we will explain different hearing aids and models to you. If you have any questions about health insurance grants and more, please feel free to contact us.

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