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Beaumont, TX 77308
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Silsbee, TX 77656

All About Tinnitus

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a widespread auditory disorder affecting a significant number of people, estimated to be between 10% and 25% of adults and children. It’s marked by the perception of internal noises without any external source, rendering it undetectable to others. Tinnitus typically coexists with varying degrees of hearing loss and can present as several sounds, such as ringing, buzzing, or a roaring noise.

While tinnitus symptoms may lessen over time for some individuals, for others, it can evolve into a chronic condition that lasts more than three months. The exact origin of tinnitus remains unclear, though extensive medical research suggests it seldom indicates a serious underlying health issue and generally does not interfere with daily tasks. However, it can significantly affect an individual’s well-being, causing anxiety, depression, and impacting mood, sleep, and focus.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for tinnitus. However, effective management techniques exist to mitigate symptoms and enhance the life quality of those dealing with this condition. Devices like hearing aids that provide sound therapy can offer relief by masking the internal noises and encouraging external sound stimulation. Behavioral therapies and certain medications can also help reduce symptoms and assist individuals in managing the difficulties presented by tinnitus.

Embracing a holistic approach that integrates diverse treatment methods tailored to an individual’s requirements is vital in effectively handling tinnitus and reintroducing normalcy into daily life. By deepening our comprehension of this intricate condition and applying suitable interventions, we can empower those affected by tinnitus to lead rewarding lives.

What are the symptoms?

Tinnitus is a multifaceted condition with a range of symptoms that can differ among individuals. People may perceive noises in various parts of their head, which can present as ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing, or squealing sounds. These sounds can vary in their loudness and pitch, occurring sporadically or continuously. Intriguingly, certain somatosensory triggers like turning the neck, moving the eyes, or physical touch can also provoke changes in these sound perceptions, a phenomenon known as somatosensory tinnitus.

It’s crucial to understand that the noises heard in tinnitus are typically subjective, meaning they can only be heard by the individuals experiencing them. However, in some instances, objective tinnitus can occur, where the noises can be heard using a stethoscope. Objective tinnitus generally has a specific cause and might be treatable. By comprehending the varied presentations of tinnitus and the potential for diverse treatment methods, healthcare providers can deliver thorough care for those impacted by this condition.

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What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus, a medical condition marked by hearing sound without an external source, has a partially unknown root cause. Despite this, several factors have been linked to its onset and are under continued investigation by researchers.


  • Loud noise exposure, such as in high-decibel workplaces or at concerts, is the most common cause of tinnitus. This is particularly prevalent among military veterans who have been exposed to loud gunfire, machinery, and explosions. However, it’s important to note that tinnitus can also occur without hearing loss, even though these two conditions are strongly correlated in cases of age-related hearing decline or noise-induced damage.


  • High doses of certain medications can also trigger tinnitus. These include specific antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarial drugs, and some antidepressants. Other potential triggers include blockages in the ear canals due to earwax build-up or infections, as well as injuries to the head and neck that cause structural damage to the auditory system or disrupt the nerves and brain regions vital for sound processing.


  • Less common risk factors for tinnitus include Ménière’s disease, which affects inner ear function; temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), characterized by jaw clenching that can impact surrounding tissues; vestibular schwannoma, a benign tumor on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain; high blood pressure; atherosclerosis or blood vessel structure abnormalities that affect blood flow; and certain medical conditions like diabetes, migraines, thyroid disorders, anemia, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. Tinnitus can sometimes occur without any identifiable cause.


Further research into tinnitus and its variety of potential causes is needed to fully understand its complexity. Gaining a deeper understanding of the factors associated with this condition is key to developing effective treatments and strategies to lessen its effects on those affected.

Is there any research being conducted?

Tinnitus research is a vibrant field with numerous well-respected research institutions, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and those sponsored by the NIDCD, actively designing and exploring innovative treatment strategies. The condition, which originates from changes in brain neural networks, has led researchers to examine the potential effectiveness of magnetic or electrical brain stimulation as a therapeutic method.


  • Currently, a multitude of research efforts are in progress to holistically manage tinnitus. For instance, cochlear implants are being considered as a potential remedy for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss, as they can restore functional hearing. Additionally, researchers are investigating non-invasive electrical stimulation techniques that can suppress tinnitus without damaging acoustic hearing. A method combining acoustic stimulation with electric stimulation to the tongue, head, or neck is under research as a long-term relief strategy for those afflicted with tinnitus.


  • Preliminary tests on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) have produced varied results. However, the current focus of researchers is to pinpoint the best coil placement and frequency of patient visits to achieve more efficient treatment results. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), another approach under consideration, is being used for individuals with movement disorders or neuropsychiatric conditions that have reported a decrease in tinnitus symptoms. While DBS has demonstrated promising results, its invasive nature requires further research to decide whether it should be routinely employed exclusively for tinnitus management.


  • Simultaneously, researchers are developing drugs specifically intended to treat tinnitus. Second-generation versions of a drug that has been successful in reducing tinnitus symptoms in mice are currently under investigation. Extensive studies are also being conducted on genetic associations to gain predictive insights and develop preventative measures, screening methods, and effective treatments for age-related hearing impairments and tinnitus. Moreover, cutting-edge brain imaging technology and smartphone applications are being utilized to gain a better understanding of the various types and complexities of tinnitus.


Collectively, these research initiatives offer significant promise in enhancing our understanding of tinnitus and discovering effective methods to manage and mitigate its impact on individuals

If you or a loved one have noticed signs of tinnitus, call us today!