Noise in the ears – auditory sensations that occur without the participation of sound vibrations of the environment. Distinguish between physiological and pathological tinnitus. Physiological noise occurs in a healthy person in conditions of complete silence.
Pathological noise occurs in the presence of certain deviations, it can be both objective and subjective. Objective pathological noise differs from subjective one in that it is heard not only by the patient himself, but also by the doctor when using a phonendoscope. Objective noise is not often observed and is traditionally caused by contractions of the muscles of the pharynx, the Eustachian tube, changes in blood flow in the vessels (for example, with their narrowing or pathological expansion), pathology of the temporomandibular joint, changes in pressure in the tympanic cavity.
Subjective pathological noise is heard only by the patient himself. Noise in this case is a sign of the pathology of the middle and inner ear, but it can also occur in diseases of other organs and systems (hypertension, low blood pressure, atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, inflammatory diseases and brain tumors, etc.). Most often, tinnitus is observed in Meniere’s disease, otosclerosis, neuritis of the auditory nerve, and some forms of otitis media. The mechanism of the occurrence of pathological tinnitus is associated with impaired sound conduction, as well as irritation of the nerve cells of the auditory tester.
To diagnose and establish the exact causes of noise, audiometry is carried out – studies using electronic equipment of the frequency spectrum and noise intensity. So, for a violation of the sound-conducting system, low-pitched noise is characteristic. Noise of the high-frequency spectrum (in the form of ringing, whistling) is traditionally observed in patients with damage to the sound-perceiving apparatus, i.e. with sensorineural hearing loss.
It is necessary to immediately consult a doctor at the first appearance of tinnitus or a change in its nature. The occurrence of tinnitus during treatment with certain antibiotics that have ototoxic effects, or in persons working in conditions of noise and vibration, may be a harbinger of incipient neuritis of the auditory nerve. Unilateral tinnitus is often the first sign of vestibulocochlear neuroma. An increase in noise and an increase in its tone in Meniere’s disease may be a harbinger of an attack of acute vestibular dysfunction.
In the treatment of tinnitus, along with medicinal products, reflexotherapy, magnetotherapy, and electrical stimulation are widely used.