Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Connect with Facebook Connect with Google For Doctors
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
By creating an account, you are indicating that you have read and accepted the DoctorxDentist Terms of Use.
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of Interests
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
What are your interests?
Please select at least 3 interests.
NEXT
NEXT
Registration Progress
Step 1: Indicate Topics of doctors
Step 2: Follow Relevant Doctors
Complete!
Follow your favourite doctors
We found some doctors you may like. Click continue to follow them.
CONTINUE
CONTINUE
Consult Doctors. FREE.
Real Doctors, Expert Answers
Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

or

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

Continue with Facebook Continue with Google

Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

YOUR QUESTION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUESTION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

YOUR ANSWER

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR QUOTE REQUEST

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL GET

BACK TO YOU SHORTLY!

YOUR THREAD HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION

YOUR THREAD

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

CREATED.

HEAD OVER TO THE FORUM PAGE NOW

TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION!

YOUR REVIEW HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR REVIEW

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBSCRIBED.

THANK YOU.

YOUR CONSULTATION HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS WILL

GET BACK TO YOU SHORTLY.

YOUR CONSULTATION

HAS BEEN

SUCCESSFULLY

SUBMITTED.

OUR DOCTORS

WILL GET

TO YOU

SHORTLY.

MESSAGES TO
Request answers from expert doctors:

DxD
DxD

We will distribute this question to expert doctors, and notify you about new answers.





What are the most common causes of ringing in the ear in an otherwise healthy individual, and what are possible tests and treatments for it?

Age: 16 - 29
Ear, Nose & Throat
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

Tinnitus refers to a ringing sound heard in the ear. It is quite common and most people would have experienced it at some point in their lives. The sound may have an actual source (objective tinnitus) or no actual source (subjective tinnitus - ie only the person suffering from it can hear it).  Causes of tinnitus depends on whether it is subjective vs objective (are as follows):

Subjective tinnitus:

  • Idiopathic (unknown cause) but may be worsened by stress or sleep deprivation
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear infections
  • Ear wax
  • Side effects from medications
  • Meniere's disease 

Objective tinnitus:

  • Clicking sounds from jaw joints or muscles nearby
  • Noise from nearby blood vessels
  • Vascular tumours

Fortunately, over 95% of the tinnitus that I see in my clinical practice (and I believe for most other ENT Specialists or GPs too) are subjective tinnitus. In an otherwise healthy individual with no other ear, nose or throat symptoms, most subjective tinnitus are idiopathic (unknown cause) or related to hearing loss. We do not know exactly why such tinnitus exist but one of the hypothesis suggests that the sound originates from the hearing nerve, hearing organ or the hearing centre of the brain. These structures may have "misfired", resulting in sound generated in the head without an actual source (stimulus). 

Assessment of a patient with tinnitus include a thorough clinical history and physical examination of the ear, as well as the head and neck region. A hearing test is also usually required to determine if there is any hearing loss associated with the tinnitus (which sometimes the patient may not be aware of). 

Some of the red flags of tinnitus which require further assessment (e.g. CT scan or MRI) include:

  • Pulsatile tinnitus (sound of the tinnitus feels like or coincides with your heartbeat)
  • One sided tinnitus
  • One sided hearing loss
  • Associated neurological symptoms (e.g. giddiness, facial numbness, headaches etc)

Treatment of tinnitus depends on the underlying cause. For idiopathic subjective tinnitus, majority of the time, reassurance of the patient is all that is required. For patients who are bothered by the tinnitus, treatment options include:

  • Tinnitus advice and counselling (coping mechanisms can be taught to the patient)
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy (a specialised habituation programme to allow patient to better understand the cause tinnitus and to eliminate or reduce the morbidity associated with it)
  • Medications (unfortunately, most have effectiveness of approximately 30-40%) 
  • Tinnitus masker (this involves wearing a device to emit soothing sounds to "mask" or "cover up" the tinnitus)
  • Hearing aids - for patients with associated hearing loss

If you have tinnitus that is persistent, troubling or has the red flags mentioned above, you should visit an ENT Specialist for an assessment.

Hope this helps and all the best!

45 views 30 Jun 2019
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other answers tagged Ear, Nose & Throat or ask your own question now FOR FREE.