Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tinnitus-eeeeee


…There is never a shortage of sucky stuff you can get, is there? The human body in its infinite variations.

…Maye Clinic Women’s Health Source says 10-15% of adults have prolonged ringing, whistling, hissing or whooshing sounds in their ears.

…This is tinnitus. It’s related to age-related hearing loss. Loud noises (remember, sitting by all those speakers?) can also cause it. Earwax can also build up and cause it.

…It’s persistent and hard to treat. But not serious.

…Recently, the New York Times Well Blog did a thread on it—people wrote they had been living with it for decades, in some instances.

…Wearing a hearing aid can help. The brain will process external sounds first.

…Wearing earplugs when operating noisy machines.

…Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and decongestants.

…Turn on a fan or other background noise.

…Use behavioral relaxation techniques to cut stress.

..And, of course, some docs recommend sedatives or antidepressants if the noises are keeping you up.

…HA gets this every so often, like a pause in sounds, then a high-pitched tone for several seconds.

…In her case—no pill.

1 comment:

Barbara Ravage said...

Gosh, Star, all you have to do is type "out of biz" at the bottom of your email sig and it drives me to your blog, which I've been intending to read more regularly for, um, months. Okay, over a year.

The Feb 9 issue of the New Yorker has an interesting piece by Jerome Groopman on tinnitus, including his own experience, and the usual New Yorker mix of medical science, history, and personal anecdote. A good read.

Sorry you've run out of steam on HA. Sorry I didn't support it by commenting.