Tinnitus the sound that no one else hears…. the lonely struggle!
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus-the perception of ringing sound in the absence of an actual external sound. It is a common problem which affects about 15 to 20 percent of people. Although bothersome for the individual, tinnitus is generally ignored. The prevalence of tinnitus increases with age and diabetes.
What are the causes of Tinnitus?
Tinnitus does not represent a disease itself but instead is a symptom of a variety of underlying diseases such as-
- Age related hearing loss.
- Exposure to loud noises.
- Ear bone changes such as stiffness in the middle ear.
- Temporo-mandibular-joint dysfunction and other dental disorders.
- Infection of the ear.
- Meniere’s disease.
- Certain medications
- Stress, depression and anxiety problems.
What are the symptoms of tinnitus?
It involves sensation of hearing of sound with no external sound present. The sound may be ringing, buzzing, humming, clicking, hissing or heart beat sound.
There are certain complications which can affect the quality of life such as lack of sleep leading to stress, anxiety and depression. Increase in the fatigability.
How is tinnitus treated?(1)
Pharmacotherapy / Medications
- Cognitive and Behavioral therapy– Cognitive therapy focuses on how one thinks about tinnitus and on the avoidance of negative ideation, whereas behavioral therapy uses the systematic desensitization approach.
- Relaxation Techniques such as progressive relaxation approach can be used to reduce tinnitus associated with stress and anxiety.
- Sound Therapy– It uses sounds found in natural settings, including those associated with streams, rain, waterfalls, and wind, to decrease the strength of the tinnitus-related neuronal activity within the auditory system.
- Hearing aids for patients with significant hearing loss.
- Music Therapy– desensitization method that utilizes music that has been specially modified according to the hearing characteristics of each patient to allow the masking of tinnitus and to facilitate relaxation at a comfortable listening level.
- An innovative treatment in physiotherapy– Quantum Resonance Therapy can be effective in treatment of Tinnitus. QRT is a combination of PEMF therapy (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy) and MMO (Magneto-Mechanical Oscillator) PEMF Therapy when applied to the neck of the patients with tinnitus. It helps in the stimulation of the parasympathetic system, reducing stress and inducing sleep. Some patients with tinnitus have symptoms of cervical spine disorders, including head, neck, and shoulder pain. They usually have stiffness in neck movements leading to obstruction of lymphatic drainage and micro-circulation. MMO is a hand held oscillatory device with healthy frequency which improves micro-circulation and removal of metabolic waste. It is applied over the neck, paraspinal and trapezius muscle which helps in reducing the over activity of these muscles, reduce spasm and improve range.