Tinnitus is a ringing or swishing that seems to originate in the ear or head. Most of the time it is not a serious problem (it is however, a nuisance to those that suffer from the condition). Causes of tinnitus include loud noise exposure (firearms, loud music), medications, and other diseases (Meniere's disease). Treatment options are limited for tinnitus. Tinnitus can be prevented by wearing hearing protection when exposed to loud noises.
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. In many cases it is not a serious problem, but rather a nuisance that eventually resolves.
Rarely, however, tinnitus can represent a serious health condition.
It is not a single disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this disorder. In almost all cases, only the patient can hear the noise.
Tinnitus can arise in any of the following areas:
the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, or by abnormalities in the brain. Some tinnitus or
head noise is normal. If one goes into a sound proof booth and
normal outside noise is diminished, one becomes aware of these normal sounds. We
are usually not aware of these normal body sounds, because outside noise masks
them. Anything, such as ear wax or a
foreign body in the external ear, that blocks
these background sounds will cause us to be more aware of our own head sounds.
Fluid, infection, or disease of the middle ear bones or ear drum (tympanic membrane) can
One of the most common causes of tinnitus is damage to
the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Advancing age is
accompanied by a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment, and
consequently chronic tinnitus.
loud noise exposure is a very common
tinnitus, and it often damages hearing as well.
people are unconcerned about the harmful effects of excessively
noise, firearms, and high intensity music.