Bothersome noises in your ears.
Humming, buzzing, whistling, or hissing inside your head? Almost everyone’s experienced some type of ear noise. They start suddenly, then continue uninterrupted or reoccur at certain intervals, and are extremely unpleasant. Most of the time, tinnitus disappears as quickly as it arrives. But this isn’t always the case. Doctors call that tinnitus.
Studies have shown that one in every four people in Germany has suffered from this penetrating ear noise at least once in his or her life. And six million people even live with this extremely bothersome condition on a permanent basis. Tinnitus isn’t a separate illness; it’s a symptom caused by a variety of very different disorders. There are now around 400 known conditions that can trigger these continuous, irritating noises in your ears.
An open ear at all times.
The majority of people from tinnitus primarily suffer from the constant stress and mental strain that the condition can cause. This is because each acoustic signal our ears receive is processed and decoded by our auditory canals and our brains: Where is the noise coming from? How loud is it? Is it a spoken word? And, if so, what does it mean?
Even though we can’t close our ears the way we can close our eyes, our brain stems are capable of subconsciously filtering out individual signals it classifies as meaningless. This is why, for example, parents are able to hear their children crying at night, but rattling doors do not wake them up.
A vicious circle of emotions.
So our subconscious minds are constantly deciding which sounds are relevant and which are not. This filter effect is vitally important to our perception, and has a protective effect. Being under stress, however, can disrupt the filter, meaning that the brain stops blocking out tinnitus noise. This is why people affected by tinnitus find the constant background noise immensely disturbing, which raises their stress levels and thus strains their perception even more heavily. This creates a vicious cycle: the increased stress results in the tinnitus becoming even more concentrated.
But there’s good news: an experienced team of audiologists and physicians can help tinnitus sufferers perceive the penetrating noise in a progressively more relaxed way—using digital noise generators, among other things—until their brains eventually no longer find them disruptive. Click here to find out more about HANSATON tinnitus solutions.
Did you know…?
There are around 400 different causes of tinnitus.