Types And Causes Of Tinnitus

There are two types of Tinnitus, basically those where there is a real noise which can be heard by a doctor and those where the sufferer is perceiving a sound that does not really exist. These are known as:

  • “Objective Tinnitus” which can be caused by problems in arteries in the neck, eustachian tube, middle ears or the jaw. If a doctor can treat the cause the Tinnitus will be cured.
  • Subjective Tinnitus” which can be caused by numerous factors although exposure to load noise is a common cause. Whilst the causes are known it is still not fully understood why sufferers hear a noise that is not real, so there’s is no specific treatment.  This is estimated to account for 95% of Tinnitus sufferers.

Generally healthy ears can occasionally experience “subjective tinnitus” too, such as hearing a buzzing sound in a very quiet environment or occasionally experience tinnitus for a few seconds. Such cases are very common.

If you have experienced occasional Tinnitus you will be wise to avoid the common causes:

  • Loud noise can cause discomfort and tinnitus. Try not to stay too long in noisy places and use ear protection when in close proximity to very load noise (such as when using power tools).
  • Using earphones for listening to loud music for a long period of time can damage your hearing. Avoid using portable music players in noisy environment where you can set the volume too loud without realizing it.
  • Take medicine only under the advice of doctors and pharmacists. Overdose of some drugs e.g. aspirin can be damaging to hearing and cause Tinnitus.
  • Try to avoid stress, particularly long term stress. If this is not possible learn to relax with something like yoga.
  • Avoid an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Conditions like high or low blood pressure, anemia and diabetes have been linked with Tinnitus.