Ear whistling, causes and treatments

Ear whistling, causes and treatments

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When it comes to tinnitus we refer to a "sound" that comes from inside the body, rather than from an external source. It is often described as "ringing in the ears", or whistles in the ear, even if in reality it is possible to perceive different types of sound.

Indeed, some people may hear sounds similar to music or singing, while others hear noises that beat in time with the pulse (pulsatile tinnitus). Still others note that this problem is concomitant with the fact that hearing is no longer "as good" as it once was or that one has become much more sensitive to everyday sounds (hyperacusis).

Ringing in the ear: are they serious?

Tinnitus, or i whistles in the earare rarely a sign of a serious underlying condition. For some people the condition may be transient, and therefore come and go periodically, or be very mild anyway.

However, sometimes the problem can be ongoing and have a significant impact on everyday life. Severe cases can be very impactful, affecting concentration and causing problems such as difficulty sleeping (insomnia) and depression.

In many cases, tinnitus gradually improves over time. But it is important to seek the advice of a doctor to see if an underlying cause can be found and treated and, therefore, make a diagnosis that can help find ways to address the problem.

Should you contact your doctor?

In general, it is good to contact your family doctor if you continuously and / or regularly experience sounds such as ringing and ringing in the ears.

The doctor can examine the ears to see if the problem may be caused by a condition that could be easily treated, such as a 'ear infection or a accumulation of earwax. It can also carry out some simple checks to see if you have a hearing loss compared to the standard.

If necessary, your GP can refer you to a specialist for further examinations and treatment.

What causes ringing in the ears?

THE whistles in the ear they can develop gradually over time or come on suddenly. It is not clear why they occur, but they often appear together with a certain degree of hearing loss, more or less mild.

Therefore, tinnitus is often associated with:

  • age-related hearing loss,
  • damage to the inner ear caused by repeated exposure to loud noises,
  • a buildup of ear wax,
  • a middle ear infection,
  • Ménière's disease - a condition that also causes hearing loss and dizziness,
  • otosclerosis - a hereditary condition in which abnormal bone growth in the middle ear causes hearing loss.

However, ringing in the ears is not always accompanied by one or more of these conditions. It is in fact possible that the person suffering from tinnitus does not have any obvious problems with the ears or hearing: this is, on average, one in three cases.

Who can be affected by ringing in the ears

Most people believe they have had short bouts of tinnitus after being exposed to loud noises, such as after a music concert.

In particular, it is estimated that in Western European countries about 10% of the population has to deal with this problem, but fortunately only 1% of the population suffers from it with such severity as to affect their quality of life.

Tinnitus it can affect people of all age, including children, but is more common in people over the age of 65.

Whistling in the ear: how to cure them?

Currently there is no single treatment for tinnitus that works for everyone. However, the quest to find an effective treatment is continuing quite encouragingly, month after month.

As with any type of condition, the starting point is always to find an underlying cause for your tinnitus. In doing so, in fact, the doctor will be able to identify an effective treatment that can help improve one's condition, such as, for example, the removal of a buildup of ear wax in case it is this element that has triggered the prejudice.

If, on the other hand, a specific cause cannot be found, treatment will focus on helping the patient manage the condition on a daily basis.

Some of the more useful tips may concern:

  • sound therapy, or listening to "neutral" sounds to distract the person from the sound of tinnitus;
  • counseling, or a therapy that aims to educate the person about tinnitus and help them deal with it more effectively,
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a therapy that aims to help change the way you think about your tinnitus so that it becomes less noticeable,
  • tinnitus re-education therapy (TRT), which is a therapy that aims to help re-educate the way your brain responds to tinnitus in order to start tuning the sound and become less aware of it.

Of course, in order to have more information, we recommend all those who are interested to talk to their doctor.

Video: What Causes Ringing in the Ears? Ear Problems (July 2022).


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