Tinnitus: What is it and it’s causes

Article summary

Not every case of tinnitus (ringing of the ears) is incurable. Read this blog to find out more.

TinnitusDo you or one of your loved ones suffer with ringing in the ears? Tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”, according to the Mayo Clinic, can be defined as a a noise or ringing in the ears when no external sounds are present and it reportedly affects 1 in 5 people!

Interestingly, tinnitus is not a medical diagnosis but is associated with an underlying disorder. These disorders include “age-related” hearing loss after the age of 60, direct nerve damage and blood circulation disorders.

Most people are familiar with the more common “causes” of tinnitus such as long-term loud noise exposure and ear blockages, but did you know that certain medications like high dose antibiotics, aspirins and diuretics can also cause problems?

The ringing in the ears is bad enough, but most sufferers also report chronic fatigue, trouble concentrating, depression, dizziness and irritability as associated issues as well.

Suffering chronically with tinnitus, can impact greatly on daily life. For further information head to the American Tinnitus Foundation website.

The ringing in the ears is bad enough, but most sufferers also report chronic fatigue, trouble concentrating, depression, dizziness and irritability as associated issues as well.

If you are suffering with tinnitus right now and have not had any relief then it essential to seek the right care and go back to the basics. Your first port of call is a knowledgeable medical professional who will conduct a thorough physical examination of your head and neck. You may be referred for a hearing test and CT or MRI imaging to screen for any pathology.

Treatment over the years has ranged from hearing aids, sound therapy, acupuncture and even vitamin supplementation. If your health professional detects jaw-related problems then many will refer you onto a dentist for a “TMJ exam”.

The jaw-related issues of interest are popping, clicking, jaw-locking or direct impact on the major nerve of the jaw called the Trijeminal nerve. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that a specific branch of this nerve called the “aurciotemporal nerve” is easily affected when jaw problems are present. This can lead to hearing problems and even vertigo!

Whilst the Australian Tinnitus Association believes that “perhaps 5% of tinnitus” is caused by jaw problems, my experience tells me that the link between the two is much higher. Unfortunately, many people suffer with jaw-related issues for many years but do not seek treatment unless it causes them pain or difficulty eating.

It is usually an eye-opener for most when they realise that jaw issues may contributing to their head and neck symptoms, dizziness and tinnitus! If you have suffered with ear-related problems for some time with no improvement in symptoms then it may worthwhile to get your jaw checked out!

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