The ringing in your ear that is commonly known as tinnitus can be simply an annoyance at best but at worst it can be debilitating and even lead to suicidal thoughts in some sufferers. About 12 million American report being bothered by tinnitus although about 50 million adult Americans may suffer from some degree of these sounds in the ear. Most people don’t find these sounds bothersome usually because they are not severe or are infrequent.
It is difficult for those in the medical profession to come up with a precise tinnitus definition because much of this affliction is still such a mystery. What makes it worse is that it is unknown whether tinnitus is a disorder or is a syndrome representing symptoms of another separate disorder.
In addition to the difficulty in trying to come up with a precise tinnitus definition is the fact that the trigger that leads to tinnitus remains unknown. It is unknown why the sounds associated with tinnitus are produced in the ears that are usually not heard by anyone else besides the sufferer (unless you suffer from the less common pulsatile tinnitus).
Those who suffer from tinnitus usually report ringing in your ear, roaring, whistling, buzzing, clicking, etc. The sounds can be intermittent or constant, loud persistent noises or low noises.
A theory on what may lead to tinnitus is that it starts from a disorder in the brain. Using information obtained from positron emission tomography (PET) scans which are used to determine which part of the brain is being used to accomplish a certain task or process information, PET scans in tinnitus sufferers have shown that the sounds of tinnitus stimulate an area of the brain which is different from the areas of the brain affected by external sounds. This “disorder” is thought to cause tinnitus.
Another theory involves the cochlea which is a spiral structure in the inner ear that transforms sound waves into nerve impulses that are conveyed to the brain via the auditory nerve. Some researchers believe that tinnitus starts from the disorganized activity of the hair cells in the cochlear whereas other researchers think tinnitus may result from the way certain chemicals function in the auditory nerve. Still other researchers believe that the problems may arise in other parts of the ear.
Still more researchers believe that the issue may arise from the central nervous system that may produce phantom noises as a response to hair cells that have been damaged or lost.
It is important to remember that these are just theories as nothing is conclusive when trying to determine what leads to subjective tinnitus which is the most common type of tinnitus. If you do have pulsatile or objective tinnitus, the cause may be easy to determine and treated which may cause the sounds to go away.
In the face of all these various theories and uncertainties on what triggers tinnitus and the uncertainly involved in diagnosing and treating this affliction in order to make the ringing in your ear go away, it can be challenging to know what to do. Even though doctors may not consider this a serious medical condition, it can be very serious for you when it is very severe interfering with your mental health and ability to function. Who wants to hear phantom noises in their head 24/7/365?
If this ringing in your ear is interfering with your life and doctors don’t have the answers you seek, you may want to consider the holistic approach which seeks to get to the root of the problem following a mind, body and spirit approach to not only cure tinnitus but also prevent recurrence. Find out more about this natural approach by clicking here.