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Tinnitus is a bothersome ailment that tiring, spoils the mood, causes problems with concentration, rest, and also falling asleep. The causes of tinnitus can be very different and often difficult to pin down.

Some peopletinnitusdoes not bother, but in many it causes fear, anxiety, impatience and aggression. It's a strange, unfamiliar sound coming from inside the head. People withtinnitusdescribe it in a variety of ways. They call it hum, squeal, whistle, rustle, ringing. It cannot be registered, even with the use of the most modern, very sensitive equipment. No one else hears him, so sick people are often considered hysterics and hypochondriacs. They are afraid that it is a signal of a serious disease, e.g. a tumor in the brain. The more they are afraid, the more often they are attracted to the disease. Only a specialist doctor will help them.

Causes of tinnitus

The appearance of tinnitus may be due to serious diseases within the auditory organ, e.g. neuromas (tumors) of the auditory nerve, otosclerosis (accumulation of atypical bone tissue in the middle ear), failure of the Eustachian tubes, as well as chronic purulent otitis media . Sometimes tinnitus is the result of diseases that adversely affect the condition of blood vessels, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, kidney failure, and thyroid diseases. The most banal cause of tinnitus is the obstruction of the outer ear with earwax or a foreign body. Most, i.e. almost 80% of the noise is generated in the inner ear, or more precisely in its part responsible for hearing, called the cochlea. They are sometimes the result of sudden or prolonged noise (e.g. a rock concert), severe stress, diving, rapid cooling, the use of certain medications (e.g. streptomycin, neomycin, gentamicin). Sometimes we don't know their cause.

Habituacja - a method of treating tinnitus

A noisy refrigerator or a clock that chimes the hours keep us from falling asleep, but only for a while at the beginning. Then we get used to it and we don't hear them at all. This is calledhabituacja(from French habitude - habit). It means the disappearance or diminishing of the body's response to repeated stimuli. A typical example of habituation is the strong sleep of people living near airports, highways, railroads. Our brain is so plastic it can be the sameway to learn to deal with tinnitus. It is this phenomenon that doctors use to help patients. The Department of Ear Noise at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in Warsaw specializes in this. It has been operating for several years, has professional staff, experience and good results. Almost 80 percent. people treated in this clinic with the habituation method were successfully freed from bothersome tinnitus. The facility accepts patients from all over Poland, and both tests and treatment are free of charge. All you need is a referral from an otolaryngologist. On the other hand, the uninsured may use the advice for a fee (the visit costs about PLN 50, and the necessary tests - about PLN 200). Before qualifying for treatment with this method, it is necessary to exclude organic causes, e.g. tumors and diseases of the middle ear.

Jamming in the ears

In silence, the noise becomes louder. Therefore, specialists from the clinic advise patients to surround themselves with gentle sounds, e.g. in the evening place a softly playing radio by their bedside. This often brings surprisingly good results. And if that doesn't help, cameras known as broadband noise generators prove to be effective. They emit the so-called white noise, so soft that it does not drown out other sounds, and is also not heard by the environment. White noise teaches the subcortical hearing centers to get used to disturbing sounds; then they are no longer perceived consciously. The patient carries such a generator at least 8 hours a day behind the auricles, as does a hearing aid. The generator must be properly set to generate sounds of the right intensity.

Long-term therapy

The generator will not fulfill its task, if we are still convinced that the noise is a signal of a disease wandering in our head. Therefore, sound treatment is carried out in parallel with conversations, which explain to patients that it is not a disease, but an unpleasant ailment. The more they know about noise, the less they fear it. Then they are mentally prepared for therapy. Doctors from the Ear Noise Clinic devote a lot of time to their patients to establish good, trusting cooperation with them. Before making a decision about treatment, they conduct a thorough interview with the patient and then refer him for ENT and audiological tests (of hearing and audibility). They discuss the research results with him, together they think about the cause of noise. The basis of treatment is the selection of hearing aids (for hearing loss) or the setting of noise generators. The patient must learn to put them on and regulate the level of white noise. Treatment, the so-called sound training lasts from one and a half to two years. During this time, they are necessaryfollow-up visits to the attending physician. The first effects can be felt after a few or several weeks. This many months of effort by doctors and patients pays off. So say those who have patiently gone through it.

"Zdrowie" monthly

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