A RINGING IN YOUR EARS – THE SOUND ONLY YOU CAN HEAR
Ringing of the ears or tinnitus as a medical term, is the subjective feeling of sound in the ears with no external stimulus present. Tinnitus is an issue which may appear in all age ranges and both sexes. Tinnitus is itself a symptom, i.e. not an illness, but its appearance may lead the doctor to a diagnosis of a certain illness. With the increased dynamics of living and increased accumulated stress in the organism, the number of patients reporting such issues to doctors has also increased. It must particularly be noted that since the beginning of the pandemic there has been an increased number of patients reporting a ringing or buzzing in their ears, and it can be observed that this symptom is appearing more frequently in the younger population, unlike before when the ringing symptoms were characteristic for adults.
The reasons which lead to the appearance of this symptom cannot be discussed with accuracy, as in most cases no specific reason can be discovered for the occurrence of this symptom. Tinnitus as a symptom is subjective and only felt by the patient, thus the doctor has no diagnostic method with which to prove or disprove the fact of this symptom’s existence, however this should not discourage the doctor nor the patient. One of the possible reasons for the appearance of a ringing in the ears is disrupted blood circulation which may appear in conjuncture with many illnesses, i.e. cardiovascular illnesses, neck spine issues, disordered functioning of the thyroid gland etc. Other possible reasons which should not be disregarded are the patient’s age, inflammatory processes, tumorous changes, acoustic trauma, central nervous system illnesses and more. Due to the fact that tinnitus may be a symptom of many health disorders, the patient must be carefully examined in order to assure there has been no mistakes in the diagnosis or treatment.
A timely request for medical help by the patient would mean timely diagnosis and timely appropriate treatment. Through everyday practice we can observe that one of the most common reasons theorized to lead to the occurrence of this symptom are circulatory disruptions, which themselves lead to a disordered vascularization of tissues and organs, which results in their damage, including the hearing organs and auditory nerve, which in turn means an appearance of tinnitus and disordered hearing. The patient’s age ought to be mentioned here as well, correlating with an increased possibility of tinnitus occurrence since we know that the aging of the organism implies the aging of all organs and tissues, thus their reduced functionality.
What about tinnitus therapy?
Regarding therapy – firstly the core reason which lead to the occurrence of the ringing must be addressed and treated. Of course in most cases by resolving the primary issue, the tinnitus issue is resolved as well, but in a certain amount of patients where a reason has not been discovered, or if the reason which led to the ringing was unresolvable, the ringing problem persists and the patient must learn to live with the ringing without allowing it to become a reason for a diminished quality of life. Vitamin therapy, especially B-group vitamins (with emphasis on B1, B6 and B12), may be useful in protecting the functioning of the auditory nerve. B-group vitamins are also useful in the normal functioning of the organism’s nervous system as they are a key factor in nerve nutrition and regeneration.
Arnvig, J. (1953) Objective tinnitus. Acta Otolaryngologica, Supplement 109:1053. [PubMed]
Hearing loss and tinnitus Plath J. Oliver Adv. Otorhinolaryngol. 1995; 49:101-4
Dr. Biljana Bundevska, specialist otorhinolaryngologist
PHI Polyclinic at the secondary level Zhelezara Skopje