Loud Ringing in Ears: It’s Probably Tinnitus !

Loud Ringing in Ears – My Story!

When I went to the Doctor with a noise in my head I didn’t know what to expect.  Loud ringing in ears is not pleasant Parts_of_the_Ear[1]and I had put up with it for a couple of days before being urged by family to get it looked at.  Apparently I was driving them mad giving out about it. So the Doctor nearly insulted me when telling me I had a mild case of tinnitus, which was like telling me my arm was only slightly broken, or that eyesight was a luxury.  If what I had is ‘mild’ then god bless those who have it bad. Mild is not how I described the noise in my head, the loud ringing in ears was driving very distracting.  For me I had loud ringing in ears all the time when awake, but I’ve since learnt that there are several different forms such as loud ringing in ears at night, or during sleep. Some people have loud ringing in ears and headaches which I can only image how debilitating that is. Worse was to follow.  I’d assumed the loud ringing in ears would be sorted with a couple of pills or flushing the ears (I’d originally thought it was a wax build up) but its was not the case.  In fact the Doctor told me there is no definitive cause and because of this, no definitive cure !!! I was stumped as I could not imagine that I’d just carry on with this buzzing loud ringing in ears. No way. However, he was very encouraging and told me that although there are no definitive treatments, there are a multitude of treatments that are available, and there is usually something for everyone. So, the hunt began.

Possible Causes of Tinnitus

Unless you suffer from tinnitus you probably haven’t paid much attention to it.  I know I didn’t. But when you have it, it can take over your world and indeed severe cases are practically impossible to live with and lead a normal life. One of the problems with defining the cause of the problem is the the huge number of possible starting points. This is because our body’s system is designed to interact all the time, and many things can go wrong causing tinnitus. Tinnitus, or loud ringing in ears may be a symptom of something else that needs to be investigated, or a result in previous damage to the body.

Some common causes of tinnitus (loud ringing in ears) are as follows (there are loads more)….

  • cerumen build-up (aka earwax)
  • sudden loud noises (e.g. rock concerts have left some fans with loud ringing in ears for days)
  • Damage to the inner or outer ear
  • neurological disorders
  • migraine
  • head trauma
  • ear infections
  • antibiotic side effects
  • loud noise exposure over extended periods of time
  • shock
  • chemotherapy
  • vitamin deficiency
  • iron deficiency
  • anxiety and or depression
  • fibro-myalgia
  • ageing (according to some sources!)
  • sleep deprivation
A loud ringing in ears can be, as the list above shows, caused by a wide variety of issues.  In some cases there is a link between some hearing loss and tinnitus.  This is because many of the same issues that cause general hearing loss are also suspected of causing tinnitus. However this is not always the case, and indeed many people do not suffer permanent damage to hearing and the loud ringing in ears can be managed. Something to be aware of is that many of the causes of tinnitus are indirect – for example a vitamin deficiency may cause tinnitus in one person but not another, making it exceptionally difficult for a successful diagnosis. Worse, tinnitus because of the very nature of the disorder, the ringing or the buzzing or the hissing that you hear may be perceived noise and not real noise.

Assessment of  Tinnitus Can Be Difficult

There can be great difficulty in getting a proper assessment of tinnitus.  Its hard to determine just how loud ringing in ears, buzzing in head, etc really is, as much of the noise is perceived. For example, although it would seem to be a logical choice, psychoacoustic testing (the one with sound) does not always have the positive results as you would expect as they do not correlate well with levels of distress that patients report (i.e. there can be confusion between real tones and perceived noises which can Many clinicians use psychometric questionnaires to determine the severity of the condition. Be aware that psychoacoustic testing (the one with sound) does not always have positive results as you would expect as they do not correlate well with levels of distress that patients report. Other testing, some of which may not be obvious, such as food allergy testing, stress tests, REM sleep testing (ie polysomnography) can all be used to identify and alleviate some of the loud ringing in ears that can occur.

Treatment for Tinnitus and Loud Ringing in Ears

The treatment of tinnitus is really a good news, bad news situation and there is no point in pretending otherwise.  Because of the varying reasons for developing the loud ringing in ears there is no definitive cure for tinnitus That’s the bad news – the good news is that there are many treatments available that will reduce or get rid of the condition in your particular case. There are studies that show upto 10% of the population may have tinnitus at any one time, and for the majority of these cases the condition is very mild and needs no treatment. Many of these cases will fade as quickly as they began. However the remainder of the cases range from mildly irritating to debilitating and these require treatment. If you have a loud ringing in ears then firstly get checked out by the Doctor who will diagnose the cause of the noises. If tinnitus is the diagnoses, then there are several options available.  Remember tinnitus is one of those conditions that Doctors recommend you find an effective solution for yourself, so don’t be afraid to explore your options.

Mechanical Devices

 

Sound Oasis Sleep Sound Therapy System
Oasis Sound Therapy System

The use of mechanical devices can be really beneficial in the treatment of any loud ringing in ears, as they are used to control the symptoms of tinnitus. Probably the best known of these is the common hearing aid but this is not suitable for everyone because not everyone who suffers from tinnitus suffers hearing loss and needs one! However there are several other alternatives available, some commercial, some home solutions.  For example, if you find that the tinnitus creates loud ringing in ears when trying to get to sleep, a simple option is to untune a radio (between stations) so the white noise can help trying to sleep, and turn the volume down low so that you can only just hear the noise.  This will give your ears something else to listen to and many people find it a very useful method of getting to sleep There are commercial options available, such as a wide variety of white noise machines, which obviously give you a wider variety of sounds that will help with the noises.

My Preference – Self  Help or Counselling

So look, this site is not going to be a push towards any particular solution, and I hope that each article on the site is if some benefit to you.  I run a couple of websites in areas that I have developed an interest in, and there are links to products that if you buy, I’ll get paid (known as affiliate income). However, I will never knowingly endorse a sub par product.

The idea that you train yourself to be better prepared to deal with the loud ringing in ears is where I come from. There is no point in trying to ignore the noise, you need to think past this and somehow distract yourself into ‘forgetting’ about it.  Easier said than done but thankfully help is at hand.

I believe that knowledge is key, so I’d recommend plenty of reading of websites (I’ll have a list of recommended ones on this site), books, and getting advise from the Doctor.

My recommendation is to try a variety of treatments until you get ANY improvement, because and something will work for you…….!  There are many very helpful books on the subject which give details to a wide variety of possible solution.

Don’t discount aids like noise machines and suppliments, which can be very beneficial to many people.

Whatever you do – the best of luck – keep trying, something will work for you. 🙂

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