by Terry Bain
Tinnitus is more common than you might imagine. Tinnitus is much more common is people in middle to later life than it is in younger people, so increased tinnitus awareness may occur coincidentally with other age-related factors. Changes in the levels of hormones circulating in the body during menopause may affect tinnitus awareness through some unknown action. Tinnitus annoyance may be aggravated by some symptoms of menopause such as mood changes.
Some cases of tinnitus are medically unexplained. As tinnitus is often defined as a subjective phenomenon, it is difficult to measure using objective tests, such as by comparison with noise of known frequency and intensity, as in an audiometric test. About one in five people between 55 and 65 years old report tinnitus symptoms on a general health questionnaire. In some individuals, the intensity of tinnitus can be changed by shoulder, head, tongue, jaw, or eye movements.
Tinnitus could be a side-effect of some oral medications, such as aspirin, and may also result from an abnormally low level of serotonin activity. Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. Tinnitus can arise in any of the four sections of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain.
Tinnitus can in very rare situations be a symptom of serious problems such as an aneurysm or a brain tumor (acoustic tumor). Tinnitus is identified more frequently in white individuals. Tinnitus can be extremely disturbing to people who have it. Tinnitus can arise in any of the four sections of the hearing system: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain. Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the head or the ears.
Some medical treatments and prescription drugs given for depression are known to cause or aggravate tinnitus in some individuals. Also, some medical treatments given for depression are known to aggravate tinnitus awareness in some individuals.
Some people with tinnitus may require medical or surgical treatment. A number of techniques and treatments may be of help, depending on the cause. For most people, symptoms of tinnitus get better with treatment. Some treatments for tinnitus reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable. Ginkgo biloba extract and chelated zinc have been proven effective in numerous clinical studies as treatments for tinnitus.
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