Tinnitus

If you got this noise that drives you crazy, sort of a humm or a whistle, maybe you only hear it in your mind, not in your ear. There is a good chance you got Tinnitus. That’s the official term for these whistles in the ear. There are some solutions to it as I discuss below.

What is Tinnitus

Basically, Tinnitus - these annoying whistles you have in you ear, is defined as any sound you hear, that is not from an external source. Meaning, there is no sound source out there that causes the sound you think you hear.

It varies in its characteristics and its magnitude. Anyone can have it, and it is important for me to say - it is not a disease!


The source of these noises can be some problem in your ear, like muscular tension or a cerumen impact. The source can also be from other organs like your head, neck or some movement in your spine. If that’s the case, changing the body position can change the Tinnitus tone or magnitude.

But, keep in mind that on many cases, there isn’t any physical finding that causes this bothering humm.


What causes Tinnitus

Unfortunately, the cause of this noise is not clear. There are a few common answers and accordingly, people report different ‘types’ of whistles and noises, with different sound type, length and magnitude.

Some of the common reasons mentioned in the medical literature are:

  •  - Side effects of different medicines
  •  - Neck injury
  •  - Stress
  •  - Cardiovascular disorder
  •  - Exposure to noise
  •  - Cerumen impact (a clog in your ear)
  •  - Anxiety

Some of these can be treated, and your situation can be much better after proper treatment. For instance: replacing the medicine you use, cleaning your hearing canal, fix bones movements in the jaw and more. Depends if indeed the root cause to your problem is known.

However, on most cases, there isn't any medical solution to Tinnitus.


A vicious circle

It’s a know fact that on many cases, you can get in sort of a vicious circle. Meaning - It starts with an annoying whistle and you can’t make it stop.

Then, you start thinking “what is wrong with me?”, “Maybe it is serious?” and so on. This puts some stress on.

The tense and stress, just increase the Tinittus

And so on, and so on


So what can you do?

Assuming there is no clear physiological reason to your problem, most techniques focus on mental training. They don’t try to make it vanish, but rather to make it tolerable and teach you how to live with it and cope with it.

This way, it can improve your life quality without really eliminating your tinnitus.


How do you do it?

There are many alternative treatments.

  •  - Generating sounds that mask the whistle
  •  - All sorts of therapies
  •  - A lot of consulting.


Once you realize what is happening to you, you learn to diagnose the feeling that it evokes and how to decrease these feelings. You gradually learn who to allow it less and less room in your day to day routine. On most cases, you’ll have an overall improvement after a while.


Tinnitus and hearing aids?

On many occasions, hearing loss goes hand in hand with Tinnitus. Furthermore, if you get a new hearing aid, a common side effect is degradation in the how much it bathers you.

Why is that?

Once you start using a hearing aid, it’s much easier for you to hear and listen. The effort and stress around hearing is reduced. In addition, you start hearing monotonic sounds you didn’t hear before, like AC, fridge etc. These sounds mask the Tinnitus to some extent.


My advice

Once you’ve been through the medical evaluation to eliminate any physical issue, you have to find the therapist and the treatment that fits you best. It can be a combination of methods, but you have to find the one that works for you.

You also need to find a therapist that will help you relax and get in better relations with your Tinnitus. This will reduce the level in which it bothers you on your day to day. As I mentioned, it might be that if you suffer of some level of hearing loss, a hearing aids might also be part of the solution.


One last thing

In recent years, more and more teenagers report whistle in their ears. Most likely this is related to listening to loud music. Sometimes, this can be the first sign to a hearing loss caused by noise!



Here is another nice objective page on Tinnitus.




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