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Information About Tinnitus

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  Tinnitus
 
Tinnitus is a phenomenon of the nervous system connected to the ear, characterised by perception of a ringing or beating sound (often perceived as sinusoidal) with no external source. This sound may be quiet, or loud enough to drown out all outside sounds.

Tinnitus can be objective (the sound, e.g., a bruit, can be perceived by a clinician) or subjective (perceived only by the patient).

Some types of tinnitus can be treated while others are permanent. In general, there are no cures specific to tinnitus, but if it is caused by a physical condition that can be treated, the tinnitus may also resolve. Chronic tinnitus can be quite stressful psychologically as it distracts the affected individual from mental tasks and interferes with sleep, particularly when there is no external sound.

The affected individual may have to generate artificial noise that masks the tinnitus sound. A combination of external masking and psychological counseling known as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is widely practiced. While it does not actually cure the tinnitus, many report that it becomes much less disturbing and easier to ignore.


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