13 May Ear Noise
Ear noise is a sound heard within the ear when there is no outside source that would cause it. The medical name for this condition is tinnitus – a symptom of an ear trauma, circulatory system disorder or age related hearing loss. Little is known about the genetics of tinnitus, but it is not an inherited disorder even though research shows it clusters in families – with tinnitus occurring in one out of every five people. But when it becomes unceasing and prevents a person from resting, working or concentrating, the problems with ear noise sounds, or tinnitus, can become rather serious.
Tinnitus Ear Noise Risk Factors:
This can occur in men or women of all ages, but is very common in the over 65’s. Also those who have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder are at risk, or any form of age-related hearing loss or problems with ear noise, or have been exposed to loud ear noise without ear protection.
Types of Ear Noise Sounds
The different types of ear noise consist of whistling, roaring, buzzing, ringing, and hissing of air, humming or the sound of musical notes. Types of ear sounds can range in tone, along with loudness or softness. Different types of ear noise and ear sounds depend on whether there is a problem within the ear and what it is. Some examples are a sharp clicking sound which happens in bursts, caused by muscle contractions. High blood pressure sounds, tumors or aneurysms will have the sound of the heartbeat amplified. Each disorder will have a different sound through the ear. What is important to remember is that abnormal ear noise can happen in the outer ear, inner ear, middle ear, or from within the brain. Tinnitus has been known to become serious and cause complications if left untreated, other than interfering with a person’s ability to work or sleep.
Causes of Ear Sounds and Ear Noise:
1. So far, there never has been a common cause for all tinnitus, even though a variety of health conditions have been known to make it worsened.
2. One of the causes of tinnitus ear noise is listed as inner ear cell damage, where the hairs inside the inner ear are bent or broken in two. This sends imaginary random impulses to the brain, such as imaginary ear noises.
3. Ear problems
4. Ear injuries or conditions that affect the auditory nerves or the brain’s hearing center.
5. Meniere’s disease which is an inner ear disorder with abnormal inner ear fluid pressure.
6. Stress and depression are diagnoses as the cause when the hearing tests come back normal and no other cause has been found.
7. Neck injuries
8. Head injuries
9. Acoustic neuroma, a tumor on the cranial nerve which is a benign tumor.
10. Vascular tumour (tumor on the blood vessels in head or neck)
11. Narrowed turbulent blood flow through the carotid artery on jugular vein.
12. High blood pressure.
How is Tinnitus Ear Noise Medically Evaluated?
The evaluation of tinnitus and abnormal ear noise begins with an examination of the neck, ears, and head with a hearing exam, in order to rule out or identify another diagnosis. The physical exam of the ears will check out any damage to the ear, earwax blockage, or an attempt will be made to hear noise over the head and neck in the ear area with a stethoscope.
A record should be brought into the physician’s appointment regarding how long the tinnitus symptoms have been going on, what they consists of, if any particular situation makes it worse, and what the ear sounds consist of. The physician may check the jaw bite to see how it affects the pain level of tinnitus in the ear or if the ear sound changes. Another disorder may be causing the ear noise, which will need to be treated to make the ear noise go away. Other tests may be of the essence(p), such as radiologic imaging tests – MRI or CT scans.
Complications of Ear Noise
- Memory Problems
- Sleep Problems
*For more information and questions, please contact Andrew Parr – Tinnitus Specialist.