Tinnitus or ringing in the ears

Have you ever had a beep or noise in your ear? Every year, thousands of Dutch people suffer hearing damage from loud music and loud noise. We call this tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Usually the result of a night out or a music festival is a beep or a noise. If you seriously damage your hearing, you may experience tinnitus or ringing in the ears. It is estimated that in the Netherlands 2 million moorbes suffer from tinnitus, with several thousand tinnitus being so bad that it is unbearable. Many people have questions about tinnitus, on this page we hope to answer the frequently asked questions.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is also referred to as ringing in the ears. You hear a constant noise, while there is no real sound. The ringing in the ears can be perceived as a beeping sound, humming sound, hissing sound, high steady tones or more. Tinnitus does not always occur in both ears, some people only have ringing in one ear.

Have you ever had a beep or noise in your ear for one or more days? People with tinnitus experience this 24/7. For a small proportion of people living with tinnitus, this beep or noise is so present that it bothers them greatly in their daily activities and prevents them from living a normal life. The consequences of tinnitus can therefore be very serious on their daily activities as they hear a loud noise throughout the day.

The causes of tinnitus

Tinnitus is mainly caused by (long-term) exposure to loud noise. Tinnitus usually develops gradually, with people experiencing ringing or ringing in their ears after a night out or a concert. In addition, brain damage, diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease, neurological damage, stress, emotional problems and medication can also cause a person to suffer from ringing in the ears.


The cause of ringing in the ears is a damage to the nerves or damage to the last part of the hearing organ. In addition, contractile muscles located in the middle ear can also cause ringing in the ears. In recent years, more and more research has shown that the brain can also cause ringing in the ears. The hearing area of the brain continuously gives signals for no reason. Tinnitus is also called phantom sound, the sound is not there, but your brain makes you think it is there.


The difference between subjective tinnitus and objective tinnitus

With tinnitus, a difference can be made between a subjective form and an objective form. If someone only “hears” the ringing in the ears, then they speak of subjective tinnitus. In addition, there is also a visible form of ringing in the ears, namely the objective variant. An KNO specialist can see the contractions of a muscle in the middle ear. This makes it clear that the tinnitus is there and the ENT doctor can actually observe this.


The degrees of tinnitus

People with tinnitus do not always experience ringing in the ears. Any form of tinnitus can be annoying, but we will discuss four different degrees when talking about ringing in the ears:

Mild tinnitus Ringing in the ears is only audible when it is quiet.

Moderate tinnitus Ringing in the ears is perceptible in difficult situations where the noise sometimes takes over.

Severe tinnitus With this variant you hear your tinnitus every second and it often drowns out other sounds.

Very severe tinnitus The most severe variant ensures that people can no longer function normally in daily life at times. Ringing in the ears drowns out and intensely disrupts daily interaction.


Can tinnitus be cured?

Unfortunately, most varieties of tinnitus are currently not curable with existing medical treatment. It must be looked at how the ringing in the ears originated. Is tinnitus caused by stress? Then there is a good chance that this will stop when you get your stress level under control. Do you experience tinnitus as a side effect of medication? Then consult your doctor or doctor, usually the sound will stop when you stop taking this medication.

The hearing aids below have a noise mask and can mask or relieve the tinnitus. The only hearing aid that can be worn day and night is Lyric. The Lyric provides extra relief because you also wear the hearing aid when it becomes quiet around you (so while sleeping). To read more about Lyric and tinnitus, visit Lyriccentrum.

In the objective variant of tinnitus, it is sometimes possible to treat it, for example by stopping the action of the particular vibrating muscle. Many different institutes are currently researching tinnitus. With a growing group of people who suffer from mild and severe hearing damage, it is very important that new treatment methods are discovered. There is now also a treatment method to suppress the overactive part of the hearing in the brain by means of an electrode. However, there are many treatments and hearing aids that work with counter sound, so that the sound of the tinnitus no longer dominates. The sound is therefore not removed but masked.


Living with tinnitus

If you suffer from tinnitus, it is sometimes difficult and very annoying. Learning to cope with this condition has different consequences for everyone. It is especially important to make sure that the beep, noise, or noise does not get worse. Then also visit your doctor or an KNO doctor and together you can find out the possible cause and see if a treatment for tinnitus is possible.


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By Yvan Karman