Tinnitus - ringing in the ears

Tinnitus - noise or ringing in the ears is a very common problem, today according to statistics nearly one in five people occasionally feel the noise in the ear. It is a symptom that occurs in a number of diseases and conditions such as hearing loss due to age, ear injury, cardiovascular disorders and hearing impairment. Although it may be boring, tinnitus is usually not a sign of something serious. It can get worse over time, but treatment is usually successful, but is aimed at treating the main cause. Although it is often that the cause can not be detected, it is considered that it generally occurs as a result of insufficient blood circulation in the brain.


Tinnitus involves unpleasant a sensation of sound that people hear when there is no external stimuli, ie sound that is not present as an external factor. Symptoms include buzzing, noise, ringing, and a variety of other phantom sounds in the ear. This sound may be quiet or loud, can occur in one or both ears. In some cases, the sound can be so loud that it can affect the ability to concentrate or disable a person to hear other sounds. It can be present all the time or to appear periodically.

There are two types of tinnitus:

Subjective - this is where you only hear sounds; The most common type of tinnitus.

Objective - this is one that can be heard even by your doctor in the review; This rare type of tinnitus can be caused by problems with blood vessels, bones of the inner ear or muscle contractions.


Many medical conditions can cause or actually worsen tinnitus. In many cases, the exact cause of the hum was never found.

A common cause is cell damage the inner ear. Small, delicate hairs in the inner ear that create pressure on sound waves, which causes the liberation of electrical signals through the auditory nerve to the brain. Your brain interprets these signals as sound.

If the hairs of the inner ear bent or broken, they can cause the electrical impulses, which are manifested as tinnitus.

Common causes

For most people, tinnitus is caused by one of the following conditions:

Hearing loss associated with aging - in many people, their hearing deteriorate during aging (usually begins around the age of 60)

Exposure to noise - loud noises, such as chainsaws or firearms are common sources of noise-related hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to loud sound can cause permanent damage, while short-term causes tinnitus, for example, going to a concert, usually disappears

Earwax - wax in the ear protects the ear canal by stopping dirt and slowing down the growth of bacteria. However, insufficient hygiene and too filthy ears can lead to an irritation of the eardrum, and thus to tinnitus.

Changes of the ear bones - hardening bones in the middle ear can affect hearing and cause the hum. This condition is caused by an abnormal growth of bones which has inherited tendency.

Other causes

Some causes are less common, and include:

Meniere's disease - is a significant disorder of recurrent attacks of extremely severe vertigo, hearing loss and noise in the ears. The cause of it is unknown. Symptoms include sudden attacks of dizziness, nausea and vomiting, lasting 3-24 hours and gradually disappear. From time to time people feel fullness or pressure in the affected ear. Hearing in the affected ear is changing and is steadily deteriorating over the years. Noise in the ears that can be constant or occur intermittently, may worsen before, after or during attacks of vertigo. The disorder affects most people only in one ear.

Head or neck injury - can affect the inner ear, auditory nerve or brain function associated with hearing. Such injuries usually cause ringing in one ear.

Acoustic neuroma - a rare, benign brain tumor. It grows on the acoustic nerve that helps to control the hearing and the balance. This nerve also goes by the facial nerve that transmits information from the brain to the muscles of the face. Sometimes it is so small and grows so slowly that it will not cause any symptoms or problems. However, it can cause problems with the hearing, the balance and the facial muscles. It is not usually a life-threatening condition, but in very rare cases, the tumor can grow large enough to press the brain.

In some patients with tinnitus, it can be connected and temporomandibular joint disorder.

Disorders of the blood vessels

In rare cases, tinnitus is caused by a disorder of the blood vessels. This type is called pulsatile tinnitus. The causes are:

Head and neck tumors, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, abnormal blood flow, arteriovenous malformations (AVM) dura mater.


Some medications can cause or worsen tinnitus. Generally, the higher the dose of medication, the more pronounced tinnitus is. The often unwanted noise disappears when you stop using certain medications. Those that cause or worsen tinnitus include:

Antibiotics, including polymyxin B, erythromycin, neomycin, and vancomycin
Anti-cancer drugs, including mechlorethamine and vincristine
Diuretics such as bumetanide, ethacrynic acid and furosemide
Quinine drugs used in malaria and other health conditions
Certain antidepressants which can worsen tinnitus
Aspirin when taken in unusually high doses (usually 12 or more days)

Risk factors

Loud noise exposure - long-term exposure to noise can damage the tiny sensory cells in the ear that transmit sound to your brain. People who work in noisy environments - such as factories, construction workers, musicians and soldiers - have a higher risk from its occurance.
Smoking - smokers have a higher risk of developing tinnitus
Cardiovascular problems - high blood pressure or narrowed arteries (atherosclerosis), can increase the risk


Tinnitus can have a significant impact on the quality of life. Although every individual is affected differently, the following can be expressed:

sleep problems
concentration problems
memory problems
anxiety and irritability

Treatment of these conditions may not directly affect the tinnitus, but it can help you feel better.

Treatments and medications

The doctor may take steps to reduce tinnitus, until the fundamental situation has abated:

  • Removal of ear wax - can reduce the symptoms of tinnitus
  • Treatment of problems with blood vessels - may require medication, surgery or other treatments
  • Changing medications - if you are taking medications that cause tinnitus, your doctor may recommend discontinuing medication or dose reduction.
  • Suppression of noise - your doctor may recommend a device for noise suppression
  • Medications - can't cure tinnitus, but in some cases, help reducing the severity of symptoms or complications.

Alternative medicine

The treatments of alternative medicine that are used are: acupuncture, hypnosis, ginkgo biloba, supplements of zinc, B vitamins.

There are many different medications that are applied in the treatment of noise in the ears. Most often these are drugs that improve blood circulation in the brain or in the inner ear. From plants to treat these health problems ginkgo is most commonly used. Ginkgo tincture serves as angioactivator with peripheral arterial and venous disorders, arteriosclerosis, diabetes damages blood vessels with risk of gangrene, blood vessel damage incurred as a result of smoking and certain hormonal problems of the blood vessels.

Ingredient extract of ginkgo increases the speed of the flow in the capillaries and the final parts of the arteries, especially in the area of ??microcirculation. Flavonoids list have a large capacity to bind free radicals. As a result, ginkgo shows strong antioxidant activity, participates in the prevention of many diseases caused by oxidative stress. Increases blood flow in the brain, improves blood supply and are therefore used as a means of stimulating the ability of concentration, memory and learning.

As for zinc, its rich natural sources are spinach, parsley, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, green beans, endive, prunes and asparagus.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a painless, non-invasive therapy that has shown success in reducing the symptoms in some individuals. The therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), sends short pulses of magnetic fields the brain. It was approved in 2009 for patients who suffer from depression, but they did not manage to get over with the help of at least one antidepressant. Studies have found that about 12 percent of people with chronic tinnitus also suffer from depression and anxiety.

The perception of phantom sounds can be pronounced in depressed people. Moreover, antidepressants can occasionally cause tinnitus.


In many cases, tinnitus is a result of something that can not be prevented. However, some precautions can prevent certain types of tinnitus.

Use protective equipment - in time, noise exposure may damage the nerves in the ear that causes hearing loss and tinnitus. If you are exposed to high noise, always wear protective equipment such as ear protectors, ear plugs ...

Turn down the volume - long-term exposure to loud music or listen to music at very high volume can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

Take care of the cardiovascular health - regular exercise, a proper diet and taking other steps to keep your blood vessels healthy can prevent tinnitus associated with disorders of the blood vessels.

Avoid possible irritants - reduce exposure to things that can worsen your symptoms - loud noises, caffein and nicotine.

Manage stress - Stress can worsen tinnitus. Help can be a variety of relaxation techniques, exercise ...

Reduce the consumption of alcohol - alcohol causes greater blood flow, especially in the interior of the ear.