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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Tinnitus


Tinnitus: Tinnitus is a term that describes any sound a person can hear from inside their body rather than from an outside source. It is a common problem and affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus is not a condition itself; it is a symptom of an underlying condition such as age related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.

Although tinnitus is often described as 'ringing in the ears', several sounds can be heard including: buzzing; humming; grinding; hissing; whistling; sizzling. Sometimes, the noise associated with tinnitus beats in time with a person’s pulse. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus.

Most people learn to live with tinnitus, but it can often have a significant impact on day-to-day life. For example, it can affect concentration and cause sleeping problems and depression.
 
A build-up of earwax, a middle ear infection or a problem with your inner ear (such as Ménière's disease) can sometimes be responsible for the sounds of tinnitus. Occasionally, temporary tinnitus can be the result of a blow to the head or a sudden, loud noise, such as an explosion or gunfire.
 

See your doctor if you're continually hearing sounds such as buzzing, ringing or humming, or if you have regular episodes of hearing these sounds. They will ask about the noises and examine your ears. Your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or an audiologist (a specialist in hearing disorders).


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

 


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