Tinnitus is a kind of sound only without meaning. It may come from ear or structures nearby, but sometimes it comes from intracranial lesions.
Tinnitus is characterized as unilateral or bilateral, subjective or objective, pulsating or nonpulsating, progressive or of sudden onset, long-term or short-term, persistent or fluctuating, and related to noisy environment or not.
Detailed description about the characteristics of tinnitus helps doctor to classify the patterns and to identify the etiology.
Tinitus is usually an early sign of otologic, intracranial or systemic disease. Tinnitus can be noticed in some infective, traumatic, neurologic, vascular and oncologic origins like hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and so on.
Accompanied symptoms and signs
Tinnitus often presents along with hearing loss, vertigo, aural fullness or earache. Delicate history taking, and physical examination, and patient cooperation are extremely necessary for discovering the etiology of tinnitus.
Notices in daily life
- Avoid noise exposure, such as earphones in walkman, noisy music.
- Avoid irritable food such as cigarette, alcohol, coffee, cola or tea.
- Adequate rest.
- Live in pleasant mood. Don’t pay much attention to tinnitus. The severity of tinnitus is related to emotion.
- Environmental noise usually masks tinnitus and reduces the discomfort, and that is why tinnitus becomes louder in silent surroundings, especially at night before sleep. Clock clicking, air conditioner humming or some soft music can mask your tinnitus and give you a good sleep.
Treatment of tinnitus may focus on the possible etiology. Oral medication, relaxation or psychotherapy, modification of daily life patterns, masking, habituation or tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), and possible ear surgery can be introduced if indicated. Identification of etiology is the fundamental of successful tinnitus treatment.