Loud Noise In Ears
A bilateral (two-sided) vestibular loss usually doesn't produce intense vertigo, vomiting, and nystagmus but instead a headache, a feeling of ear fullness, imbalance to the point of being unable to walk, and a bouncing and blurring of vision (oscillopsia). It also produces inability to tolerate head movement, a wide-based gait (walking with the legs farther apart than usual), difficulty walking in the dark, a feeling of unsteadiness and actual unsteadiness while moving, lightheadedness, and severe fatigue. If the damage is severe, symptoms such as oscillopsia and problems with walking in the dark or with the eyes closed are not going to go away.
The diagnosis of ototoxicity is based upon the patient's history, symptoms, and test results. There is no specific test; this makes a positive history for ototoxin exposure crucial to the diagnosis. At present, there are no treatments that can reverse the damage. Currently available treatments are aimed at reducing the effect of the damage and rehabilitating function. Individuals with hearing loss may be helped with hearing aids, and those with profound bilateral losses have benefited from cochlear implants.
In the case of lost balance function, physical therapy is of great value for many individuals. The aim is to help the brain become accustomed to the changed information from the inner ear and to assist the individual in developing ways to maintain balance. Again, see you doctor if you suspect a case of ototoxicity.
Age. As we get older, there is a greater chance of hearing loss and nerve impairment. Tinnitus can accompany these situations in that the sound is no longer masked.
Wax. Anything from wax build-up to a foreign object in the ear that blocks sound from getting in can make tinnitus worse. Ultimately, it mimics hearing loss, and the absence of outside sounds will make you more aware of the sound(s) in your ears and/or head.
Tumor. On rare occasions, tinnitus can be caused by a tumor. For this reason, it is imperative to rule out a tumor through an MRI, CT scan, or any test deemed by your doctor to be appropriate for such a purpose.
TMJ and jaws. Jaw misalignment can make tinnitus worse by affecting cranial muscles and nerves.
Head and neck injury. Have you ever heard of "getting your bell rung"? Head and neck trauma can induce tinnitus as well as make it worse.
Meniere's Disease. Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear. Tinnitus is one of the symptoms of Meniere's which is also characterized by vertigo, hearing loss, and ear fullness.
Other health problems. Fluid and/or infections in the ear, specifically the middle oar bones and tympanic membrane are also believed to cause tinnitus. More often than not, the tinnitus will subside as the ear heals. In addition, approximately 3% of people with tinnitus experience pulsatile tinnitus, where they hear a rhythmic sound, which often coincided with their heartbeat. This can be an indicator of a vascular condition so consult a physician if you feel you might be experiencing pulsatile tinnitus.
Last But Not Least: SPADE
What is the relationship between stress and physical illness? If you have an ulcer, the doctor doesn't forget to tell you to "take it easy", There is a well known mind body connection to illness. Are some people more vulnerable to stress than others?
Sometimes it's easier for all involved to look to the physical causes of tinnitus. Then there is no need to open an emotional can of worms. Regardless of how you acquired tinnitus, there are reasons why it stays there. The acronym SPADE, coined : by Dr. Kevin Hogan, covers the emotional or psychological factors that can contribute to the onset of tinnitus as well as help keep its hold on you and your life; stress, panic, anxiety, depression and emotional illness.
One, some, or all of the aforementioned factors are typically in the history of the tinnitus sufferer's life. To date, I have not worked with one client who has not had one of these traits in their past. We all have stress, but how we cope with stress plays an important role in whether or not we continue to function in society and in our daily lives.
l've read in the medical literature that these problems "might" come up fairly often. The fact is they are ever present in everyone I've worked with.
One of my first tinnitus clients asked me, "20,000 people went to that concert and 19,999 of them left without tinnitus. How come I did?" It was a hard question to answer because I wasn't sure if he was prepared to hear my response … yet. Sure there are physical factors to acquiring tinnitus but there are also emotional factors as well that can lay the foundation for the noise in your head to surface and stay there until the conflict is resolved.
Surprisingly, stress may not directly cause tinnitus but it can definitely be a catalyst to its onset as well as keeping it in place. Why would your emotional state help keep that noise in your head going off 24/7? Secondary gain. What is secondary gain?
No one, well almost no one wants to be sick on a conscious level. But once you are sick or ill, there are secondary gains or benefits to being ill. One of the hardest challenges for anyone is to look at themselves to identify what your secondary gain might be. Once identified you are almost home in your quest for relief because these unanticipated or secondary benefits to remaining ill or incapacitated. The body can then maintain that illness.
Five years ago I would have shaken my head at such a seemingly ridiculous statement. Not anymore. To learn more, you can check out Loud Noise In Ears.
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