John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. In many cases it is not a serious problem, but rather a nuisance that eventually resolves.
Rarely, however, tinnitus can represent a serious health condition.
It is not a single disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this disorder. In almost all cases, only the patient can hear the noise.
Tinnitus can arise in any of the following areas:
the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, or by abnormalities in the brain. Some tinnitus or
head noise is normal. If one goes into a sound proof booth and
normal outside noise is diminished, one becomes aware of these normal sounds. We
are usually not aware of these normal body sounds, because outside noise masks
them. Anything, such as ear wax or a
foreign body in the external ear, that blocks
these background sounds will cause us to be more aware of our own head sounds.
Fluid, infection, or disease of the middle ear bones or ear drum (tympanic membrane) can
One of the most common causes of tinnitus is damage to
the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Advancing age is
accompanied by a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment, and
consequently chronic tinnitus.
loud noise exposure is a very common
tinnitus, and it often damages hearing as well.
people are unconcerned about the harmful effects of excessively
noise, firearms, and high intensity music.
Tinnitus is commonly described as a ringing in the ears, but some people also hear it as a roaring, clicking, hissing or buzzing. It may be soft or loud, and it might affect both of your ears or only one. For some people, it's a minor annoyance. For others, it can interfere with sleep and grow to be a source of mental and emotional anguish.
Each year about 1 in 10 adults nationwide has an episode of tinnitus that lasts longer than 3 months. Tinnitus isn't a disease. Instead, it's a symptom that something is wrong with your auditory system. The problem may exist somewhere in your ear, in the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain or in the parts of the brain that make sense of sounds.
Scientists still aren't entirely sure what happens in the auditory system to cause tinnitus. But somehow, the networks of nerve cells that process sounds have been thrown out of
balance in a way that creates the illusion of sound where there is none.
Because tinnitus can arise from so many conditions, ranging from hearing loss to high blood pressure to medications, diagnosing the cause or causes can be a challenge. For many people, the ringing in their ears begins for no obvious reason.
SOURCE: NIH News in Health. Ringing in Your Ears? August 2011
The skin on the outer part of the ear canal has special
glands that produce ear wax, also known as cerumen. The purpose of this natural
wax is to protect the ear from damage and infections. Normally, a small amount of"...