The literal translation for the word tinnitis from Latin means "to tinkle or ring like a bell." It is loosely defined as hearing noises in the ears that no one else present can hear. These can range from ringing, roaring, clicks, whistling, or hissing.

Tinnitis, also known as tinnitus, is not a disease but rather a symptom which may be caused from a variety of other conditions. It is classified as objective and subjective. Subjective tinnitus is most common and may be caused by neurological, metabolic, or psychogenic disorders.

The objective type is usually caused by muscular or vascular abnormalities, such as hypoxia (insufficient oxygen), and ischemia (insufficient blood supply due to a blocked artery). Smokers are subject to this condition as nicotine has a restricting effect on the vascular system.

Tinnitus can be found in one or both ears and often patients complain that they hear noises in the middle of their heads. It occurs not only in the outer, middle and inner ear but in the brain as well.

Pulsatile tinnitus refers to the sound of your pulse beating in your ears. It is usually a result of high cholesterol levels.

Infections, damage to the eardrum, hearing loss due to physical trauma to the head or neck, or wax in the inner ear canal may also bring it on, generally for a short duration.

Both tinnitus and deafness are the result of damage to the microscopic ends of the auditory nerve in the inner ear. However, although they often coexist, the one does not cause the other. Both conditions can also be caused by Menier's disease, the mumps, certain drugs, and even severe cases of jaundice.

Although most common in the elderly due to nerve impairment, more and more younger people are subject to both deafness and tinnitus due to long term subjection to excessively loud sounds.

The ringing sensation ranges from being a nuisance for most sufferers to a chronic condition causing loss of concentration, sleep problems, and psychological distress. In all cases it has been found that intoxication heightens the severity of the distress.

There is no simple cure and must be treated according to each individual case. It's important to see an otolaryngologist for the best treatment. If the exact cause can be determined, there may be a cure.

Medical treatments vary from hearing aids, electrical stimulation through the use of cochlear implants, drug therapy, masking, cognitive therapy, tinnitis retraining therapy, and TMJ treatment.

TMJ, the acronym for temporomandibular joint, refers to the part of the jaw located just below the ear, causing both tinnitis and ear pain when damaged. The therapy is considered to be a dental treatment.

Certain surgical techniques are being studied to alleviate certain vascular-neurological problems. Since stress tends to worsen the condition, keeping stress and tension under control is crucial. The electrical stimulation procedure is still an experimental technique.

From a natural health point of view, zinc has been found to be very effective. Natural supplements containing vitamins A, C, the B group, E, and Zinc have also proven successful for many sufferers.

In order to help alleviate the severity of tinnitus, there are several things you can do.
It's important to avoid exposure to loud sounds and noises;
Do relaxation and circulation exercises set out by your healing practitioner;
Listen to a competing sound at a constant low level, like a ticking clock or radio static (white noise) as these may mask the tinnitus. This will make it less noticeable and for some may even suppress the head noise for several hours after it is used. The main principle here is that the masking sound is a more pleasant substitute for the tinnitis sound.

Remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


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Author's Bio: 

Ann Stewart, author, inspirational writer and wellness coach, shares tips on how to fight off disease and feel your best in her weekly newsletter,
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