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What is Tinnitus?

A person with tinnitus may experience hearing various sounds in one or both ears. They may mistake it as ringing in the ears, but it is more likely a roaring, buzzing or clicking sound that evolves and changes over time to other complex noises.

The noise produced during a tinnitus attack is usually perceptible when there is no outside or background noise; this condition is called subjective tinnitus. Here, there are certain nerves in the ears that are not functioning properly.

In other cases, the noise may be produced by the actual sounds that occur in the ears; these sounds may be coming from the nearby blood vessels. This condition is called objective tinnitus.

Tinnitus may be noise-induced; it may be due to the exposure to loud noises. Certain drugs may also work against the inner functions of the ear. For instance, taking too much aspirin daily can cause this condition. Tinnitus is also one of the symptoms of Ménière’s disease — a condition that causes muffled hearing and frequent episodes of vertigo.

Treatment of this condition depends on what caused it. For drug-induced tinnitus, the doctor will recommend minimizing or stopping its intake. If, on the other hand, the cause cannot be identified, the doctor will just recommend ways to ease the tinnitus until such time that its cause can be identified.

Other possible treatment methods may include the use of hearing aids (to help patients hear over the ringing, clicking or buzzing sound) and maskers (to create white noise to make tinnitus less noticeable).

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I´m 61 years old and lost my hearing gradually over many years. Because my hearing loss developed so slowly, I never realized it was happening. But my friends and family sure did. Because of them, I decided to get my hearing tested. Dr. Andrews keeps working with you until you are satisfied. That´s what I like. I haven´t heard this well in years. ~ R. McGreggor

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