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The Different Forms Of Tinnitus

what is tinnitusWe’ve all heard of tinnitus but just exactly what is it and just what are the different forms of tinnitus?

Well, the definition of tinnitus is: “the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound“.

The condition is characterized by ringing, buzzing, humming, musical, whooshing, throbbing, hissing or other noises that someone hears inside the ear, ears or inside the head.

It maybe that these noises are incessant or they may come and go.

Although it does not pose serious health threats, tinnitus could be an alarm bell for some other condition so it’s important it’s checked out by a medical professional.

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Types Of Tinnitus

Although there is just one definition of tinnitus there are actually only two main types of the condition:

Subjective Tinnitus

By far the most common forms of tinnitus which has, more often than not, been caused by an over exposure to excessive noise. Only the sufferer can hear subjective tinnitus and it can be constant or intermittent and vary in intensity.

Always check with you doctor as subjective tinnitus may indicate:

  • problems with the nerves.
  • faulty nervous interpretation of the audio signals.
  • food allergies.
  • medications side effects.
  • smoking and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
  • These symptoms are more difficult to diagnose because they require a more complex set of medical tests.

Go see the doctor once the symptoms start because the sooner you seek medical help, the easier the treatment becomes. Many people develop tinnitus after flu, head injury or accidents. Professional diagnosis represents the only solid ground to start treatment.

Objective Tinnitus

On the other hand objective tinnitus is the rarest form and the only type that can actually be heard by a third party. It very often follows the throbbing of the pulse and in time to the heartbeat.

Thankfully, objective tinnitus is a pretty rare occurrence. I affects only about 5% of tinnitus sufferers. The big difference is that upon examination the doctor will often be able to actually hear the sound that bothers you as it results from an inner ear bone condition or an infection.

Objective tinnitus really does need the opinion of a medical expert. This is because there is often a specific and identifiable medical cause. As a result the treatment of the cause may result in the tinnitus being cured.

Different Forms Of Tinnitus

You will also hear of a number of other different forms of tinnitus referred to:

Pulsatile Tinnitus

As the name suggests, this form of tinnitus is a rhythmical beat that typically follows the pattern of the beating heart. Apart from the normal sounds of ringing, buzzing, whooshing or hissing those suffering from pulsatile tinnitus may often experience a sort of deep throbbing noise which sound like the beating pulse. This could be in either ear individually or simulatniously in both.

There is often a specific cause which has resulted in the blood flow around the ears or in the surrounding area being affected.

You can ead more about Pulsatile Tinnitus here >>>.

Somatic Tinnitus

This form of tinnitus is a little difficult to explain. It’s when physical movement, or the senses can either cause or influence the condition in some way. For example a muscle spasm my stimulate the onset of tinnitus but clicking the jaw may reduce it perception of the noises.

Sensory Tinnitus

This is a form of subjective tinnitus and the form experienced the most. It’s usually a side effect to a damaged hearing system.

Musical Tinnitus

Musical tinnitus is also known as musical hallucination. It’s a more complex for of tinnitus whereby the sound of music can be heard when there is no such sound present.

This form of tinnitus causes a feeling of dizziness and lack of balance.


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We are NOT medical professionals - if you are concerned about hearing problems or tinnitus you should always seek professional, medical advice.