What causes the continuous ringing in the ears? – Corriere.it

from Elena Meli

One study links tinnitus, or tinnitus, to certain medications. But this annoying disorder can also have other causes, including diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.

All silent, but in the head we have a continuous hum. tinnitus or tinnitus, a disorder that is common after exposure to a very loud noise, such as a loud concert or the passage of an airplane in the immediate vicinity: for a while we hear a hiss, a whistle, sometimes a hum or even a screeching sound. It is defined as a phantom perception, because the sound does not exist: the excess of noise modifies the activity of the auditory neurons, which then turn on regardless of the actual presence of a sound stimulus. Tinnitus is usually a transient phenomenon, but in some cases it can become a constant background and therefore quite annoying: it happens more often to those who frequently or regularly use over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to a large study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and conducted on just under 70 thousand women followed for 20 years. Acetylsalicylic acid used 6 or 7 days a week in moderate doses, therefore as an analgesic or anti-inflammatory, increases the risk of tinnitus in young women under the age of 60 by 16 percent; at the dosage of 100 milligrams, that is the one used as an anticoagulant, it has no effect on the ears; frequent use of paracetamol or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increases the likelihood of buzzing by about 20 percent. Data that is not surprising Roberto Albera, professor of Otolaryngology at the Department of Surgical Sciences of the University of Turin, who observes: It has been known for some time that especially high-dose acetylsalicylic acid can cause tinnitus, but it is a temporary effect: enough discontinue the drug and the disorder passes.

What changes with age

There are also other risk factors: with age the probability increases and the same is true if you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia; the greatest danger is if you are often exposed to loud noises without protection and so it is no coincidence that many musicians have revealed that they suffer from chronic tinnitus, from the Italian Caparezza to the former drummer of Nirvana and voice of the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, who recently told of his decades-long ordeal with the buzzes always in the head. Middle ear pathologies such as frequent ear infections, or diseases of the inner ear such as hearing loss are an element of risk, adds Albera. Prevent difficult tinnitus: the only possible precaution not to expose yourself to very loud noises if you realize that you are susceptible to harmful effects, for example if you have experienced prolonged or very annoying tinnitus after concerts and the like. When tinnitus appears, however, don’t worry too much if it goes away within 16-24 hours; if it persists longer it is advisable to undergo a specialist examination with otoscopy (an examination of the ear to evaluate the eardrum and ear canal, ndr) and audiometric test: in the majority of cases of persistent tinnitus, in fact, there is a hearing loss and only 20-25 percent of patients have no hearing defects.


In short, tinnitus is the sign of a small damage, if it does not go well, get your hearing checked because it could be the first symptom of a deficit; it is not automatic, as many fear, that suffering from it sooner or later leads to complete deafness. In the near future, however, it will perhaps be possible to diagnose chronic tinnitus with a test on brain activity: a study by the Swedish Karolinska Institute has shown that the disorder causes alterations in the functioning of specific areas of the brain that could become its sure signature; until we have such a precise marker, however, do not neglect whistles and hisses and go to the otorino if they don’t pass. In some cases, for example with some sudden hearing loss, the earlier the hearing loss is identified the easier it is to be able to solve it, even eliminating the tinnitus, says the expert. If the cause of the tinnitus is a treatable disease, it may disappear as well; often for not possible, and then you need to find a way to live with the discomfort. When consolidated tinnitus can be partially benefited by behavioral techniques that help to distract attention from background noise: in some patients the impact on the quality of life relevant precisely because they cannot ignore it, while others do not feel stress simply because they are able to eliminate tinnitus from conscious thinking, concludes Albera.

May 13, 2022 (change May 13, 2022 | 18:44)