Tinnitus and the Brain
If you have ever experienced ringing in your ears you’ve probably wondered what is it that creates the perception of sound when there is none present. Experts suspect that Tinnitus relates to the brain, and is often associated with changes in our auditory system – like hearing loss.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss
Sound waves travel through the ear canal, to the middle and inner ear. Hair cells in the inner ear help transform the sound waves into electrical signals which then travel to the brain. The brain translates the signals into meaningful information, allowing you to interpret and understand the sounds you hear.
Hearing loss results when the inner ear hair cells become damaged, this means the brain doesn’t receive the accurate signals it needs. As a result the brain has a drive to overcompensate for what it is not receiving from the ears. This in turn can create the perception of Tinnitus.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss often co-exist. An estimated 90% of Tinnitus sufferers experience some degree of hearing loss. If you have Tinnitus symptoms, like ringing in your ears, it is recommended to have a hearing test.
Tinnitus and You
Whatever it’s cause, Tinnitus can often have a significant impact on daily activities and overall quality of life. Some people who experience Tinnitus can ignore it most of the time and not allow it to disrupt their daily lives. These people are referred to as Tinnitus Experiencers. For others, Tinnitus can take control of someone’s life and negatively impact their overall health and wellness. In significant cases it creates stress and anxiety, even disrupting sleep patterns, this creates a vicious cycle resulting in a Tinnitus Sufferer.