Tinnitus is a Symptom, Not a disease

Tinnitus is generally defined as “Sound of Silence”. There can be objective & Subjective Tinnitus. Subjective Tinnitus means sound heard to sufferer only whereas objective Tinnitus means it can be heard to examiner also. Tinnitus can be heard either in one ear, both ears and head in absence of any external sound.  It can be continuous, intermittent, and pulsatile in nature.

Persons with Tinnitus are often worried about what is happening in their ears. For this they consult different specialists in search for relief. There are number of causes for Tinnitus such as ear wax accumulation, otitis media, otosclerosis, Eustachian tube dysfunction, ear drum perforation, tympanosclerosis, Ossicular discontinuity, meniere’s disease, acoustic tumors, drug ototoxicity, TMJ disorder, head and neck trauma and hearing loss etc. For treating Tinnitus it is important to rule out underlying pathology. In most cases the root cause remains idiopathic.

In persons with hearing loss and Tinnitus, there is decrease in sound input at cochlear level leading to hyper activation at the level of central nervous system. Nerves start firing in dys-synchronous way. This leads to generation of some unwanted sounds which is being perceived as Tinnitus at level of autonomous nervous system (ANS). Perception of Tinnitus increase over time if stress, fear and anxiety gets associated with it, such cases requires psychological support also.

Audiologists having experience in assessing and managing Tinnitus will assess hearing sensitivity, pitch and loudness of Tinnitus. Minimum masking level and residual inhibition is being determined to know the success of sound therapy for Tinnitus sufferers.

Till date there is no sure shot treatment available for Tinnitus relief. But there are different treatment options available by which most of Tinnitus can be managed. Tinnitus suffers must undergo thorough examination of ears, hearing & Tinnitus evaluation.


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