Tinnitus (pronounced either tin-NYE-tus or TIN-ni-tus according to the American Tinnitus Association) is defined as hearing sounds that in most cases no one else can hear. It is a condition that seems to be related to age (most cases appear after the age of 50), and is much more common in men than in women. An estimated 50 million Americans have tinnitus; for some reason more of them in the South than other parts of the country.
A range of sounds are experienced by tinnitus suffers and there are different types of tinnitus associated with these sounds.Most people with the condition hear sounds that no one else can hear; this type is referred to as Subjective tinnitus. Incredibly, there are circumstances in which a doctor or hearing instrument specialist can detect these sounds upon examination, this is called Objective tinnitus. Less frequent types of tinnitus include hearing low-frequency noises (which are often mistakenly attributed to external sources rather than tinnitus), musical hallucinations (in which the person hears what appears to be music that no one else can hear), and pulsatile tinnitus (often heard as rhythmic beats that seem to be in time with one’s pulse).
If there is a single most common symptom of tinnitus, it is hearing a persistent, high-pitched ringing noise, in one ear or in both ears. The noise may also be perceived as a buzzing, whistling, hissing, roaring, or clicking sound, and can vary in both pitch and intensity. Mild tinnitus can be masked by every day sounds and while it may appear tinnitus comes and goes for some sufferers it’s important to know that the condition may only be heard in less noisy environments. Some people experience their tinnitus as related to their posture; for example, it is more present when they are lying or sitting down than when they’re standing. Many people perceive their tinnitus to be more of a nuisance than a disorder, but in others it is definitely a source of fatigue, increased stress, and even conditions of depression and anxiety. Interruptions in sleep or concentration are often found in many of these severe cases. Tinnitus can be diagnosed by one of our specialists by performing a short, painless examination. Tinnitus can be a warning sign of diseases like high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and Meniere‚Äôs disease. If any of these symptoms describe your situation please make an appointment to see us today.