Recognising the Signs and Symptoms of Tinnitus

January 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Tinnitus, Tinnitus Explained

So what does it mean if you or someone you know has Tinnitus? People who suffer from Tinnitus hear an internal sound in one or both of their ears or in their head. The sound is not attributable to anything in the external world.

The common types of tinnitus are high pitched noises, or low frequency sounds. The sounds that people who have tinnitus experience are described as:

  • Ringing
  • Hissing
  • Buzzing
  • Whistling
  • Whoosing/rushing
  • Clicking
  • Roaring
  • Humming/murmuring
  • Rumbling
  • Droning

Some people even have auditory hallucinations of hearing music playing. This tends to be more common in people who have had tinnitus for a long time and have hearing loss, or people who have increased sound sensitivity known as hyeracusis.

There are 3 different types of Tinnitus:

  1. Subjective Tinnitus – this is the most common kind where sounds can only be heard by the person who has Tinnitus
  2. Objective Tinnitus – this is a physical problem of the ear such as narrowing of blood vessels. This type of Tinnitus is a lot less common and can be heard by a doctor with a stethoscope
  3. Pulsatile Tinnitus – this is defined by the rhythm of the noise which beats in time to the persons heart. It is usually related in some way to changes to the blood flow to the ears.

The extent to which Tinnitus affects a person varies greatly. For some people it is a mildly irritating background noise that can usually be ignored. At the other end of the spectrum, the noise can be unbearable and make it very difficult for the person to think about anything else.

The symptoms of tinnitus vary not only between people, but can also vary for a person at different times. For example, the symptoms of Tinnitus are usually more noticeable on a night time when background noise is lower and the person is trying to relax and fall asleep. Tinnitus can also vary in terms of the type of noise the persons hears, the volume and the pitch. This can be affected by whether you are standing, sitting or lying down.

Tinnitus tends to make people more sensitive to sounds. People with hyperacusis often find the television seems to be excessively loud although to everyone else it seems normal.

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