The Cause and Treatment of Tinnitus

Tinnitus can in very rare situations be a symptom of such serious problems as an aneurysm or a brain tumor (acoustic tumor). Tinnitus can affect anyone whose ears have been damaged to any degree, from those with little or no hearing loss to those who cannot hear at all.

Doctors have several theories on the cause of Tinnitus, but the most probable cause is due to exposure to loud noises. Although doctors have some theories as to why this happens, it is most likely due to an exposure to a loud environment. Doctors were still failing to recognize tinnitus as a serious health issue just a few years ago. Frequently people who have fought in wars suffer from this ailment due to the loud noises present in the battlefield.

Prolonged exposure to loud noise is damaging and a very common cause of tinnitus. Repeated exposure to noise is likely to lead to tinnitus, but even one-time exposures can sometimes cause severe tinnitus. Loud ringing noises are one of the most common causes of ear. In your everyday environment excessive noise, such as firearms and high intensity music, may have lasting and damaging effects to your ears.

Noise-induced tinnitus is caused by damage to hair cells in the ear. The problem is that while the damaged ear is the cause or “trigger” of the tinnitus, it is often not the source or “generator”. Noise exposure is the most common cause of tinnitus. Noise induced permanent tinnitus (NIPT) can derive from occupational noise exposure, leisure noise or acoustic trauma.

Subjective tinnitus occurs when someone is only able to hear the buzzing, which is not heard by others. Subjective tinnitus cannot be perceived by anyone other than the sufferer. It is subjective tinnitus that is the most difficult to treat.

Tinnitus Treatments

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) uses sound generators with a strict set of guidelines for effective tinnitus treatment. Counselors work with the aim of tutoring the patient on all the intricacies of the hearing systems of the ear and brain.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a program intended to address and treat chronic tinnitus. TRT is based on a neurophysiologic model and aims to allow a patient to habituate to the tinnitus signal. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy depends upon the natural ability of the brain to “habituate” a signal, to filter it out on a subconscious level so that it does not reach conscious perception. Importantly, habituation is a passive event, in contradistinction to “ignoring” something, which is an active event. TRT is a treatment based upon neurophysiology principles. It deals with brain function, not cochlear anatomy.

Masking is the use of different kinds of sounds to drown out the annoying noise of ringing in the ears of a tinnitus patient. Maskers are small electronic devices that use sound to make tinnitus less noticeable. Maskers do not make tinnitus go away, but they make the ringing or roaring seem softer. For some people, maskers hide their tinnitus so well that they can barely hear it.

Masking and TRT are similar in that both treatments introduce sounds to patients. Maskers emit sounds that either partially or completely cover the sounds of tinnitus, while TRT sound generators emit a quieter sound that allows the tinnitus to still be heard. Masking happens when the sound therapy is so loud that you no longer hear your tinnitus. If sound therapy is used in this way it may make tinnitus more noticeable in the long run. Masking devices are sometimes called white noise machines.

Alternative medicines and acupuncture only rarely seem to be helpful in treating Tinnitus. Alternative treatments like hypnotherapy and acupuncture have also been used with varying degrees of success. Excellent results have been achieved through homeopathic remedies that are formulated specifically for each type or cause of tinnitus.

The nonprofit American Tinnitus Association (ATA) is the nation’s foremost organization working to cure tinnitus. ATA provides funding for tinnitus research. In addition, the ATA provides information about tinnitus and maintains listings of hearing healthcare professionals. ATA also sponsors a national self-help network. Lists of local support groups and tinnitus health professionals are available from ATA.

5 Signs You Need A Root Canal Treatment

You need a root canal treatment if you experience any of the following on your teeth:

1. Severe Pain

When your teeth are in pain, it doesn’t always necessarily mean that you need to have it extracted or you’ll undergo Root Canal Treatment (RCT). It depends on the severity of the pain that you are feeling.

There are also some teeth that needs you to undergo RCT but doesn’t hurt at all, so this is only going to be determined by your dentist whether you need it or not.

When the pain ranges from sharp and intense to a dull ache and has happening for quite a few days or so, you should immediately see your dentist.

2. Tenderness, Swelling, and Infection of the Gums

Swelling is an obvious sign of infection but every case doesn’t necessarily mean RCT is needed. Again, it depends with the severity and the dentist can advise whether you need to undergo with the procedure or not.

If the swelling is quite pronounced where you can actually feel or notice a lump and extends into your face and/or neck, and has been going on for days, you may have to see your dentist and inform him/her about these.

3. Gum Boils

Gum boil (fistulous tracts) is a formation of pimple-like lesion in the gum tissues. This is a drain for pus, where instead of building up inside the soft tissues in the mouth and causes tissue enlargement, a fistulous tract gives a way for it to vent off.

These gum boils’ size may rise and fall depending on the infection’s waxing and waning activity. A person is most likely to detect bad taste, since gum boils acts as a drain for pus. The lesion feels tender when touched and tissue swelling is going to form when the tract is blocked.

4. Individually Darkened Tooth

Tooth discoloration is an indicator that there are changes happening within its nerve space, possibly in the pathological sense. The tooth is typically having a color that ranges from dark yellow, gray or black.

This is only a possible sign, and again, it doesn’t immediately mean RCT is needed unless you check with your dentist whether it really is in need for such procedure or not.

Darkening also happens when the tooth has experienced trauma, or there is presence of decay, if a filling is deteriorated or has caused stain (by metal fillings).

5. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Together with tooth pain, when you are experiencing high sensitivity to anything hot and cold, this might be a sign that you need to undergo RCT. Also, when you bite using a certain tooth and you feel discomfort. Mild sensitivity is often a symptom, where you would feel pain whenever you take hot or cold foods or liquids and it has been going on for quite a while.

You will have a hunch that there is something wrong inside your mouth because you can feel it – any pain, lump, or sensitivity. When you notice such things, immediately seek your dentist’s help and he/she will be the one to suggest whether you need to have RCT or not.

The Usefulness Of Light Therapy In The Treatment Of Fibromyalgia

FM has no known cause as there is little evidence supporting any of the theories suggested by researchers. It is however thought to be triggered by,

1. Sleep disorders

2. Injury and Muscle Trauma

3. Genetic predisposition

4. Immune System Abnormalities, and

5. Infectious agents, including viruses and bacteria

FM has two main components, pain and fatigue. Pain is felt throughout the body (ligaments, tendons and muscles) and can range from mildly uncomfortable to excruciating. It can also continue for months and even years. Fatigue can be experienced as anything from feeling a little tired to feeling absolutely exhausted, and can make the pain of the illness harder to bear.

Symptoms include:

1. Morning stiffness

2. Wide spread pain

3. Sleep disorders

4. Chronic headaches

5. Dizziness

6. Nausea

7. Depression

8. Facial and jaw pain

9. Irritable bowel, frequent bouts of diarrhoea or constipation and irritable bladder

10. Cognitive dysfunction including lack of concentration and mixing up words

(To mention a few)

Patients often feel they are aching all over, with muscles feeling sore, stiff and overworked. Muscle twitching is also not rare in FM and can sometimes feel like they are burning.

Treatment for FM tends to be very comprehensive and can involve a number of health care providers including physicians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, chiropractors and occupational therapists. Common treatments include pharmaceutical treatments such as the use of Lentizol, Sinequan or Seroxat. Other treatments include relaxation techniques, therapeutic massage, gentle exercise program, acupuncture, change in diet and cognitive behaviour therapy, to mention a few.

Light therapy is an alternative therapy, which can be used for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia. It can help reduce muscle pain, depression, fatigue and sleep disorders. Three different types of light therapy can be used for treating symptoms of fibromyalgia: Bright Light Therapy, Colour Therapy and Low Laser Light Therapy (LLLT).

Based on the idea that our body is specifically attuned to light, bright light therapy uses high powered fluorescent lights to help trigger the release of specific hormones, which help to restore the body’s natural rhythm and overall health. Bright light therapy for fibromyalgia is typically carried out using a light box, which is typically placed in front of you at eye level. Depending on the intensity of the light box, treatment time could be between 15 minutes to 3 hours. You remain seated in front of the box without staring at the light box, but absorbing the light while carrying out other activities such as reading, eating, etc.

Colour therapy is a form of phototherapy, which delivers coloured beams of light to various parts of the body and its usage is becoming more popular among chronic pain sufferers. As the eyes see the coloured beams of light, the light energy is converted into electric impulses, which travel through the brain, triggering the release of hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, which help to improve your mood and ease pain. The four colours typically used are red, blue, violet, and white. Colour therapy is very relaxing and typically lasts between 15 minutes and 1 hour.

Also known as Cold Light Therapy or Soft Laser Light Therapy, Low Laser Light Therapy (LLLT) helps to reduce pain and promote healing by increasing the energy levels of certain cells in the body. Low-frequency laser light beams are applied to various painful areas of the body, once the photons emitted by these beams are absorbed by the body; they are converted into cellular energy by the energy power houses within the cells (the mitochondria). Consequently, this helps to increase the rate at which your body heals thereby eliminating pain.

Various studies have suggested that light therapy is highly effective at reducing symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue and depression, and as such is worth a try for fibromyalgia patients who yearn to be relieved of their symptoms. Read more about light therapy in our brand new Light Therapy Learning Centre. As effective as light therapy is for various disorders, certain individuals are advised against using it especially those suffering from epilepsy, skin sensitivities, glaucoma, bipolar disorders, cataracts and other eye diseases.

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This article is only for informative purposes. It is not intended to be a medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for all your medical concerns. Kindly follow any information given in this article only after consulting your doctor or qualified medical professional. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from any information obtained from this article.