Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
- Tinnitus facts
- What causes tinnitus?
- What are the symptoms of tinnitus?
- How is tinnitus diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for tinnitus?
- Tinnitus relief remedies
- Tinnitus medications
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
- Tinnitus relief therapy
- Can tinnitus be prevented?
- What's being done in research on tinnitus treatments?
- Tinnitus Pictures - Slideshow
- Take the Ear Infection Quiz
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- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
- Tinnitus is abnormal ear noise.
- Tinnitus can arise in any of the four sections of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain.
- In addition to ringing in the ears, other symptoms associated with tinnitus include:
- Persisting unexplained tinnitus is evaluated with a hearing test (audiogram).
- Measures can be taken to lessen the intensity of tinnitus.
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease, and it has a variety of causes that may arise anywhere in the hearing mechanism. It begins in the ear with the tympanic membrane and the cochlea, where sound is transmitted into electrical energy for the brain to perceive.
- Tinnitus that is throbbing (pulsatile) may be due to blood flow through arteries and veins adjacent to the ear, as well as tumors that are vascular, having increased blood flow within them.
- Tinnitus that is described as clicking may be due to abnormalities that cause the muscle in the roof of the mouth (palate) to go into spasm. This causes the Eustachian tube, which helps equalize pressure in the ears, to repeatedly open and close. Multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases that are associated with muscle spasms may also be a cause of tinnitus, as they may lead to spasms of certain muscles in the middle ear that can cause the repetitive clicking.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) abnormalities may cause a repeated clicking sound in the ear.
- Damage to the vestibulocochlear nerve, responsible for transmitting sound from the ear to the brain may cause tinnitus. This may be due to drug toxicity or a tumor (for example, acoustic neuroma).
- Meniere's disease, which is associated with hearing loss and vertigo, may also cause tinnitus.
- As people age, their hearing may decrease and there can be associated tinnitus.
- Otosclerosis, which is caused by abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, can sometimes cause tinnitus.
- Trauma may also be a cause of tinnitus and hearing loss. This includes barotrauma, whereby air pressure changes can damage ear function.
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