Tinnitus: Ear and Identified Underlying Cause

1936 words 8 pages
Introduction to Tinnitus
Tinnitus (TIN-i-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn't a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.
Symptoms
Tinnitus involves the annoying sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present. Tinnitus symptoms include these types of phantom noises
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Generally, the higher the dose of medication, the worse tinnitus becomes. Often the unwanted noise disappears when you stop using these drugs. Medications known to cause or worsen tinnitus include:
· Antibiotics, including chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamicin, vancomycin and bleomycin
· Cancer medications, including mechlorethamine and vincristine
· Diuretics — water pills — such as bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide
· Quinine medications used for malaria or other health conditions
· Chloroquine, a malaria medication
· Aspirin taken in uncommonly high doses (12 or more a day)
Diagnosis
· Hearing (audiological) exam. As part of the test, you'll sit in a soundproof room wearing earphones through which will be played specific sounds into one ear at a time. You'll indicate when you can hear the sound, and your results are compared with results considered normal for your age. This can help rule out or identify possible causes of tinnitus.
· Movement. Your doctor may ask you to move your eyes, clench your jaw or move your neck, arms and legs. If your tinnitus changes or worsens, it may help identify an underlying disorder that needs treatment.
· Imaging tests. Depending on the suspected cause of your tinnitus, you may need imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans.
· The sounds you hear can help your doctor identify a possible underlying cause.
· Clicking. Muscle contractions around your ear can cause sharp

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