An audiological and neurological condition, tinnitus is experienced by almost 50 million Americans.
BURLEY, IDAHO, UNITED STATES, September 24, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — A ringing in the ears that no one else can hear, tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. Commonly referred to as 'ringing in the ears,' tinnitus can sound like any one or more of several different noises, including buzzing, whistling, hissing, swooshing, and clicking, according to Dr. Temp Patterson, an otolaryngologist from Burley, Idaho.
Tinnitus can present as both an acute, or temporary, condition, or as a chronic, ongoing health malady. The audiological and neurological condition is believed to affect around 50 million people in the U.S. currently, or approximately 20 percent of the population.
Dr. Temp Patterson explains that roughly 20 million Americans struggle with burdensome chronic tinnitus, while around 2 million have extreme, often debilitating cases of the condition. The remaining 28 million estimated sufferers are understood to be afflicted with less severe, usually temporary, acute cases.
Tinnitus mainly consists of two 'types' with one being largely prevalent over the other. These, according to Dr. Patterson, are subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus. "Subjective tinnitus involves hearing noises that are perceivable only to the specific patient," reveals the ear, nose, and throat specialist. Over 99 percent of all reported tinnitus cases are of this variety.
Objective tinnitus, meanwhile, and representing less than one percent of all reported cases, involves noises which are audible to other people, in addition to the patient. Dr. Patterson explains that these noises are usually produced by the body's internal circulatory or somatic functions. "In cases caused by somatic functions, what the patient and others are hearing are musculoskeletal movements, although this remains very rare, as do cases involving circulatory functions," he adds.
Treatment, says Dr. Patterson, may involve addressing an underlying health problem. "From impacted earwax to blood vessel conditions, tinnitus can also be the result of one or more prescribed medications," he explains. "High doses of aspirin, for example, are one known cause of tinnitus."
Where tinnitus symptoms cannot be resolved in this fashion, a specialist such as Dr. Patterson may look toward noise suppression. White noise machines, hearing aids, and masking devices have all been shown to assist in suppressing the sounds associated with tinnitus so that they become less bothersome.
Another option is known as tinnitus retraining, which involves a wearable device that delivers individually programmed tonal music to mask specific tinnitus frequencies. Over time, this may accustom a sufferer to their tinnitus, thereby helping them not to focus on it.
Lastly, Dr. Patterson touches on medication. "Unfortunately, drugs can't cure tinnitus," he points out, wrapping up, "however in some cases, they may help in reducing the severity of symptoms, or in dealing with other tinnitus complications."
Drugs currently employed to help with tinnitus include tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline for severe cases, as well as alprazolam, including Niravam and Xanax, which may also help to reduce tinnitus symptoms.
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Source: EIN Presswire