I hear music in my ears, a constant rhythmic sound played by a combination of instruments. The doctors say that it tinnitus and they talk about various causes and treat it mostly as a symptom of hearing disorders. I have had that explanation all of my adult life. It isn’t acceptable.
We look to medicine to provide more answers. We have become much more intelligent patients and we expect more substance. Medicine is uneven, however. Doctors can tell you much about areas in which they have performed extensive research and have deep clinical experience. Yet, there is much more about which they have not studied.
I can theorize myself about my own experience and would probably be more wrong than right. However, let me share what I mean.
Normal hearing capacity is a combination of selective physiology and mental skill using the tools we have to navigate a noisy world in which we can hear people talking and music playing. We can try to hear what we want, and we can try to ignore what we don’t want to hear.
It isn’t always possible to ignore noise because it may be too great.
With hearing loss, one loses the ability to hear sounds in the range needed for conversation, for instance. So, when you lose a range, what is left?
What was noise becomes the only thing that you can hear. Hearing noise can be useful. For instance, if a car is coming from behind that you don’t see, you can at least hear it coming and jump out of the way.
Useful noise is something that you would miss in providing signals that guide your reaction.
When everything is quiet such as sitting in a room and reading a book, one can still hear noises.
I experience “hearing” noises that sound like a rhythmic tune. I put quotation marks around hearing because it isn’t like receiving noise through the listening system; it is more like ghosts of sound imprints in the brain such that it is the idea of sound.
I have no control over selecting the routine rhythmic tune, so I think of it as my internal song. Do you suppose everyone has one, but they are so overwhelmed with sound they don’t hear it? That is what I think.
There are other such sounds that appear that resemble radio stations, more than one, playing in my head at the same time. One theory is that a post placed to replace a tooth is acting as an antenna picking up sound that my brain loosely translates.
With these internal sounds, there is no control – no on or off, no volume adjustment, it is just there.
My theory is that music that humans invented and our musical instruments are born not only from the sounds that people hear in external nature, but it may be driven by our own natural and innate internal sounds about which we are not fully aware.
You think that you really know what is going on until you begin to strip away layers of functionality to get to the internal truth. Perhaps we all share a similar song.
URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/...ency/article/003043.htm
Tinnitus is the medical term for "hearing" noises in your ears when there is no outside source of the sounds.
The noises you hear can be soft or loud. They may sound like ringing, blowing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, humming, whistling, or sizzling. You may even think you are hearing air escaping, water running, the inside of a seashell, or musical notes.
Tinnitus is common. Almost everyone experiences a mild form of tinnitus once in awhile that only lasts a few minutes. However, constant or recurring tinnitus is stressful and can interfere with your ability to concentrate or sleep.
It is not known exactly what causes a person to "hear" sounds with no outside source of the noise. However, tinnitus can be a symptom of almost any ear problem, including ear infectionsear infections, foreign objects or wax in the earwax in the ear, and injury from loud noisesinjury from loud noises. Alcohol, caffeine, antibiotics, aspirin, or other drugs can also cause ear noises.
Tinnitus can be masked by competing sounds, such as low-level music, ticking clocks, or other noises. Tinnitus is often more noticeable when you go to bed at night because your surroundings are quieter. Any noise in the room, like a humidifier, white noise machine, or dishwasher, can help mask tinnitus and make it less irritating.
Learn ways to relax. Feeling stressed or anxious can worsen tinnitus.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
Get enough rest. Try sleeping with your head propped up in an elevated position. This lessens head congestion and noises may become less noticeable.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your doctor if:
Ear noises start after a head injury.
The noises are associated with other unexplained symptoms like dizziness, feeling off balance, nausea, or vomiting.
You have unexplained ear noises that bother you even after self-help measures.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The health care provider will perform a physical examination, which will include looking in your ears. You may be questions, such as:
What does the noise sound like?
Is the sound throbbing or rhythmic?
Is it in one or both ears?
What other symptoms do you have?
The following tests may be done:
Head CT scanHead CT scan
Head MRI scanHead MRI scan
Blood vessel studies (angiographyangiography)
X-rays of the headX-rays of the head
If your doctor can determine the cause, fixing the problem (for example, removing ear wax) may make your symptoms go away.
Many medicines have been used to relieve symptoms of tinnitus, but no drug works for everyone. Medications may include anti-arrhythmics (usually used for irregular heart rhythms), antidepressants, vasodilators, tranquilizers, anticonvulsants, and antihistamines.
A tinnitus masker is a device worn like a hearing aid. This helps some people. It delivers low-level sound directly into the ear to cover or disguise the ear noise that is bothering you.
A hearing aid may help reduce ear noise and make outside sounds louder.
Sometimes, counseling may help you learn to live with tinnitus. Your doctor may recommend biofeedbackbiofeedback training. This method helps you learn to control body functions by monitoring specific responses (such as tightness of a muscle group) and altering this response through relaxation.
Some people have tried alternative therapies to treat tinnitus. These includes:
Vitamins or herbal supplements, including zinc, magnesium, ginkgo, melatonin, or B vitamins
However, such methods have not been entirely proven. Talk to your doctor before trying any of these alternative therapies.
The American Tinnitus Association is a good resource center and support group.
Wear ear protection in any situations where ear damage is possible (such as loud concerts or jackhammers). If you have hearing loss, avoid further damage to your hearing by avoiding excessive noise.
Make sure your blood pressure is normal by maintaining proper body weight, exercising regularly, and seeing your doctor for yearly check ups.”