What is making noise in our ears?
“Ever since I retired and spent most of my time at home, in silence, I had a ringing in my ears. No matter which doctors I went to or what drugs I used, nothing helps. One salvation – I turn on the TV with a loud sound. But how can one live like that? What should I do? ” The neuropathologist Larisa Sinkova answers the question of the MedPulse reader.
If the hairs are damaged
Tinnitus is called tinnitus – ringing, buzzing, rustling, buzzing. He overcomes most often the elderly, and usually before bedtime, in an atmosphere of complete silence. It may even interfere with sleep. Sounds are different – quieter and louder, monotonous and pulsating, constant or short-term, in one ear and in both at once. One common property: the sound is heard only to the owner of the ears. It is as if coming out from within. In fact, it is. Many auditory cells of the inner ear are equipped with sensitive hairs that move in accordance with sound vibrations, turn them into electrical signals and transmit to the brain. Thus all sounds from sources from outside are born. But this is normal. And if the hairs are damaged or are in a state of irritation (for manyreasons), then they begin to move randomly, unevenly and form an indistinct mixture of electrical signals at the output. This brain perceives this mixture as constant tinnitus. But in fact, the noise source is simply … absent.
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Causes of “Pathological Tinnitus”
Tinnitus is not always a sign of disease. The reason may be the use of certain medications – streptomycin, gentamicin, cisplatin and furosemide. Sometimes noise occurs when a foreign body or water enters the ear, in case of poisoning, stress. Sudden changes in weather and atmospheric pressure (in an airplane, for example, or when diving) influence it. The phenomenon of ringing in the ears during a sudden onset of silence after a loud sound is known. There is an explanation for this. Sound waves act on the hair cells located in the inner ear, which generate signals to the brain. A very loud sound damages these cells, and they mistakenly continue to transmit a signal even after the sound waves have disappeared.
The causes of “pathological tinnitus”, where the disease is present, are divided into two groups – problems with the ears and problems of a different nature. The first is more or less clear. By default, it is ear diseases that are the main cause of ringing, so the first thing to do is contact an ENT specialist. Suppose a foreign object enters the ear canal, earwax accumulates there, the inflammatory process or an allergic reaction begins – all this is the care of the otolaryngologist. Otitis is often to blame for the noise – inflammation of the middle ear, but it is difficult to make a mistake here: otitis has other symptoms too pronounced. And after visiting the otolaryngologist, who prescribes treatment, as you recover, tinnitus will gradually stop.
Worse, if the ENT doctor did not find anything. So, the reason lies in the diseases of internal organs – the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, and nervous system. It is especially worthwhile to be wary of those who, besides tinnitus, experience frequent headaches, dizziness, changes in heart rate, nausea, and impaired coordination of movements. Pathological changes in the body lead to an uneven flow of blood to the auditory nerve, and then alarming bells already ring.
Tinnitus often appears with a significant increase in blood pressure. The reason is damage to the small arteries of the brain. They acquire additional sensitivity, become narrow, inelastic, and because of this, the flow of arterial (i.e., oxygen-enriched) blood to the brain is limited.
Hypertonic noise is characterized by pulsation – the sound amplifies, then subsides in the rhythm of a heartbeat. The noise is especially intrusive and even prevents you from falling asleep when a person goes to bed. Sometimes in addition there is a thin, mosquito-like squeak, annoying ringing. One ear can suffer, but more often it makes noise in both ears. Sometimes, pain in the region of the heart, headache, flickering of flies in front of the eyes join hypertonic noise. If all these symptoms are present, you should call a doctor as soon as possible.
Some heart diseases and malformations can also cause tinnitus. This happens due to the fact that the work of the heart becomes unproductive, it copes poorly with pumping blood, and its circulation slows down. There is a general circulatory failure in the body. And the first to respond to it is the brain. Ringing and tinnitus are a sign of such a reaction. Then, in the ears, it constantly makes noise, then occasionally, the sound may be pulsating, but not necessary. It intensifies during physical exertion, and in a state of rest it can completely subside. Many note that the noise does not sound so much in the ears as in the head itself – it feels like the bones of the skull are buzzing.