The sounds made by tinnitus, such as "keening," "gees," and "buzzing," vary widely and differ from person to person.
Tinnitus is a subjective sound that cannot be understood by anyone but oneself.
In some cases, people suffer from tinnitus for a long period of time, such as three months, and experience stress.
Tinnitus is a symptom, and tinnitus itself is not a disease.
When you catch a cold, you may experience a cough, but tinnitus, like a cough, is not a disease in and of itself.
Let's take a closer look at what the symptom of tinnitus is.
Main Causes of Tinnitus
There are many causes of tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be caused by listening to loud sounds suddenly or for long periods of time.
It can also be caused by side effects of medications, diseases, or trauma to the head or neck.
It can also be caused by ear wax buildup, stress, or no apparent cause.
Therefore, it is very difficult to identify the cause.
We sometimes talk to otolaryngologists about tinnitus, and they usually say that the cause is somewhere other than the ear.
In particular, recently, it can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor posture due to computers and smartphones, a straight neck, stagnant blood flow, and metabolic disorders caused by lifestyle habits.
For this reason, there are few cases in which symptoms of tinnitus improve immediately after a visit to an otolaryngologist.
Please refer to "The causes of tinnitus are many and varied, and even doctors have difficulty quickly identifying them" for more information on the causes of tinnitus.
Mechanism of Tinnitus
Why do we hear tinnitus sounds in the first place when they are not actually ringing?
Sound travels through the ear canal to the middle and inner ear.
Inside the inner ear is a snail-like organ called the cochlea, which is filled with hair cells called hair cells.
When these hair cells vibrate due to sound waves, they generate electrical signals, which are received by the brain and recognized as sound.
If the hair cells are damaged, this signal cannot be transmitted properly.
If the signal cannot be transmitted properly, sounds cannot be recognized correctly, so the remaining hair cells try to compensate for the damage by increasing their sensitivity.
The increased sensitivity of the normal hair cells is thought to be the cause of tinnitus.
In addition, the brain may also produce sounds on its own due to hearing loss.
The brain may feel a sense of discomfort due to the loss of sounds that it used to be able to hear normally, and this can lead to tinnitus.
You make sounds on your own.
Therefore, tinnitus is the feeling of a sound that is not actually playing.
Stress caused by tinnitus
The first and foremost impact of tinnitus on daily life is, needless to say, increased stress.
The stress is immeasurable if you keep hearing a "squeak" or "ding" that you normally don't hear.
In addition, the tinnitus can make it difficult to fall asleep at night and cause sleep deprivation.
Lack of sleep can cause difficulty concentrating, creating a vicious cycle.
There are many different causes of tinnitus, and it is difficult to pinpoint what causes it.
Therefore, the examination for tinnitus is very much a process.
We have to interview the patient, check the condition of the ear, and look at the brain response Step by Step to destroy the factors one by one.
Please refer to "What is a tinnitus test? How and what is the process of the test?" for more information on how to test for tinnitus.
There is no definite cure for tinnitus yet.
Tinnitus is a symptom caused by something.
The best treatment is to cure the source of the problem at its root.
However, as mentioned earlier, leaving tinnitus untreated will interfere with your life.
It is important to go to a hospital for a thorough examination to determine the cause.
The two main ways to deal with the problem are as follows.
- Improvement of the physical condition
- Posture correction
Both are caused by lifestyle habits, but constitutional improvements are often due to poor blood circulation.
Lack of exercise, lack of sleep, unbalanced diet…
It takes a long time to cure this, of course, because it requires constitutional improvement.
Please refer to "Treatment for tinnitus varies depending on the cause Summary of treatment methods" for more information on the treatment of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom.
There are many causes of it, and it is difficult to immediately identify what causes tinnitus just by listening to the tinnitus symptoms.
It is important to go to a hospital and find out what the cause is as soon as possible for early improvement.
Music therapy can alleviate tinnitus, but it does not directly improve it.
It is important to improve your constitution by eating a well-balanced diet, getting adequate exercise, and getting a good night's sleep.
For those who find it difficult to eat a balanced diet, taking supplements or taking Chinese herbal remedies can also be effective in improving the constitution.
Focusing on tinnitus can cause stress and lead to a vicious cycle.
Also, going to physical therapy or massage can also help.