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Tinnitus represents one of the most elusive mysteries facing audiologists, ENTs, and neurologists. There are two major types of tinnitus - Objective & Subjective.
Objective tinnitus is a sound near or in the ear, which other people can hear. There are many possible causes for this including jaw misalignment, debris sitting on the eardrum, dental problems, a malfunctioning Eustachian tube, and blood vessels too close to the surface of the ear canal.
Subjective tinnitus refers to an auditory perception not directly produced from a physical or external sound. The patient is the only one who can hear subjective tinnitus which may be described as, "hissing, static, roaring, crickets, humming, ringing or music." It can range from low- to high-pitch, consist of multiple tones, or sound like noise. It may be constant, pulsing, or come-and-go. It may begin suddenly or increase gradually. It can be perceived in one ear, both ears, or simply "inside the head".
While there is no known cure for most forms of tinnitus, it is NOT true that nothing can be done about it.
Because tinnitus may be a symptom of a treatable disease, it is important to try to identify and resolve a cause before deciding on the management approach. Tinnitus might also be a side effect of certain prescription medications. There are over 500 possible causes of tinnitus, so no single treatment will solve every tinnitus problem. Even with professional help from an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus, it may be necessary to try different approaches separately or in combination.
You don't need to suffer with tinnitus, as a variety of tinnitus management procedures are available. Since there are many possible causes of tinnitus, no single treatment is a universal cure. Often it is appropriate to seek help from a team of professionals including audiologists, physicians, psychologists, dieticians, dentists, or chiropractors.
Here are a few helpful tips in regards to alleviating the effects of tinnitus.
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The American Tinnitus Association is a non-profit group based in Portland Oregon with the sole purpose of finding a cure.