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woman with ear pain from tinnitus

At some point in your life you may have had some ringing in your ears, whether it be from sitting to close at a rock concert or getting tackled too hard in a football game. Well in your own circumstances the ringing or noise may have gone away, but what if it hadn’t? There are thousands of people in the world that live with tinnitus.

    Tinnitus is a ringing or perception of sound within the ear, when there is an absence of sound externally. There are several causes of tinnitus, but as of yet there are no cures. Tinnitus can be very mild in the case of a quiet background noise or debilitating to the point where someone can’t mentally focus or sleep. It seems that tinnitus is becoming more and more frequent and yet doctors and scientists can’t figure out the triggers that offset tinnitus or the cure to fix the problem. 

    Causes of tinnitus range in source such as physical condition, disorder, disease or injury. It is understandable that an injury to one area of the body can affect other parts of the body such as if you sprain your ankle you can get low back problems. Such is the way that the body was built, with everything being connected. However, when your wisdom teeth are impacted you don’t expect to get ringing in your ears. Although, this is a definite possibility. Other causes include injury to the head, TMJ or cervical spine disorders, loss of hearing, Thyroid disorders, Lyme Disease, a sudden loud bang or noise, excessive Ear wax, drug side effect or interaction, etc.

    Although, there is no cure for tinnitus, often times when tinnitus is caused by a physical condition or disease the tinnitus will disappear when the condition has cleared up. Nevertheless if tinnitus ceases unexpectedly there is very little way to find out what caused it to stop. This poses a problem for the researchers who are searching for a clue on how to cure tinnitus.

One area where there is a higher frequency of tinnitus cases is in the elderly.  As we age our bodies begin to lose elasticity, muscle mass, energy, and body function breaks down.  This includes the senses and in particular hearing.  As we age we start to lose our hearing and about 20% of the elderly population have reported symptoms of tinnitus. 

Tinnitus can be very stressful psychologically, physically and mentally. The ringing or sounds can distract a person from tasks, from work, and from sleep.  People can become very frustrated with tinnitus. Most people will go through several different proposed treatment plans in the hopes that the sounds will go away, but for many they never do.