tinnitus - Archive

Northern Virginia Tinnitus Support Group – Kickoff Session – Sept 20th

August 11, 2016 in Community News, Tinnitus

 

Join our Kickoff Session:
Northern Virginia Tinnitus Support Group

Date:        Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 7PM
Location: Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Persons

3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130
Fairfax, VA 22030

Directions to NVRC:  http://www.nvrc.org/about/directions/

Share your personal experiences
Coping strategies
Symptom triggers
Management techniques
Current Treatment options

The Future ….

For additional information, please contact:

Elaine Wolfson, erwolfson@comcast.net
Marian Patey, mjpatey@fcps.edu
Debbie Jones, djones@nvrc.org

Don’t Focus on Your Tinnitus – by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.

January 19, 2016 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Center for Hearing Loss Help
by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
January 3, 2016

If you have tinnitus you need to stop focusing on your tinnitus. Constantly and repetitiously mulling over your tinnitus will only make your tinnitus worse. Therefore, you need to consciously choose notto dwell on it.

Instead, focus on living a happy productive life. Get involved in fun activities, productive projects, and the loves of your life. When you are thoroughly wrapped up in something that is exciting or enticing to you, your tinnitus will not be important enough for your brain to even bother decoding it.

As I have said numerous times to people with tinnitus, “Did you ever notice that when you are passionately kissing your spouse, you don’t hear your tinnitus?” They all get a surprised look on their faces, followed by a knowing look as they realize this is true.

Read more  . . . Tinnitus

Breaking the Stigma of Hearing Loss – The Who, What, Why and How

December 11, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

We must break the stigma that surrounds hearing loss. It is a matter of life and mind — your mind. Research shows that people with a mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia as those with normal hearing, and this risk increases with the severity of the hearing loss. Over a six-year study at Johns Hopkins, the cognitive abilities of older adults with hearing loss declined 30%-40% faster than in older adults whose hearing was normal and developed a significant impairment in their cognitive abilities 3.2 years sooner than those with typical hearing. Hearing loss is also associated with higher incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

WHO has hearing loss?

Hearing loss is not an isolated incident. Fifty million Americans have hearing loss today. This includes 1 in 5 teenagers, and 60% of our returning veterans from foreign wars. In fact, more people have hearing loss, than suffer from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autism and osteoporosis combined! Nevertheless, it does not seem to be a priority within the national healthcare dialogue. Maybe it is because hearing loss does not kill you. It is true that it is not fatal, but it can take away the quality of your life, through isolation, depression and the early onset of dementia, along with other health problems.

Read more . . . . Sheri Eberts- A Hearing Loss Blog

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Deal With Lingering, Invisible Injury: Tinnitus

April 14, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

WGBH – Boston
 CRAIG LEMOULT
April 13, 2015

Dave Fortier was about to finish his first marathon.

“As I was looking at the arches and looking where I was going to be going, that’s when everything changed,” he said.

As the first bomb went off, he saw a huge flash of light off to his left.

“I was knocked sideways,” he said. “I ended up on the ground over near the grandstands, with just this muffled noise and this ringing in my ears.”

He could see people screaming. But he couldn’t hear them.

“I did see the second explosion,” he said. “I did feel it, but I really couldn’t hear it. It sounded like a distant gunshot.”

At some point, Fortier looked down and saw a pool of blood forming around his foot. He’d been hit by shrapnel. He was taken to the hospital.

“They were sewing me up, and I still remember talking to the doctors about my — about the noise, this ringing, when does it go away?” he said. “And they said, ‘Yeah, it should be gone within a couple of days.’ And it is still as loud today as it was two years ago.”

Read more . . .  Boston

 

 

Tinnitus, high-frequency hearing loss increase injury risk: study

January 15, 2015 in Research

 

 

Safety & Health
January 14, 2015

New Haven, CT – Workers with a history of tinnitus (ringing in the ear) in conjunction with high-frequency hearing loss are more likely to be injured, according to a study from Yale University.

Researchers analyzed more than 9,900 production and maintenance workers who were employed at six aluminum manufacturing plants from 2003 to 2008. Researchers adjusted for ambient noise exposure as part of the project.

The risk of acute injury was 25 percent greater among workers with tinnitus and high-frequency hearing loss. Workers with tinnitus and low-frequency hearing loss did not face the same risk of acute injury but were more likely to sustain minor injuries.

At-risk workers in noisy work environments might require an additional examination of their communication and hearing protection needs, researchers said.

The Portland, OR-based American Tinnitus Association recommends that people who believe they have tinnitus contact an audiologist, otologist or otolaryngologist for an examination. Tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million people in the United States, ATA said, but only 16 million have sought medical attention for the condition.

The study was published Dec. 30 in the International Journal of Audiology.

Read Original Article . . .

New study brings scientists a step closer to silencing tinnitus

June 18, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Medical Press
June 16, 2014
Original Article: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-06-scientists-closer-silencing-tinnitus.html

New research funded by charity Action on Hearing Loss suggests that tinnitus can be eliminated by blocking signals between the ear and brain, offering hope to suffers that a cure is within reach, with prolonged exposure to loud music or working in a noisy environment often the main reasons why people are affected by the distressing condition.

One in ten people in the UK are affected by  everyday – ranging from a light buzzing to a constant roar in the ears and head – which can have a detrimental effect on quality of life from problems sleeping to being able to concentrate at work, and it can lead to depression and disruption to everyday family life.

Researchers at the University of Western Australia treated guinea pigs with a drug called furosemide one week after tinnitus had been triggered by exposure to loud noise. The drug treatment lowered the activity of the auditory nerve, reduced neural hyperactivity in a specific part of the brain that processes sound and crucially the animals treated with the drug no longer displayed signs of tinnitus.

Dr Helmy Mulders who led the research said: ‘Studies in human tinnitus sufferers are still needed to confirm our results and to establish whether or not this approach will be effective for people who have had tinnitus for a long time, but our research shows that lowering the activity of the  may be a promising approach to treating recently triggered tinnitus.’

Read more . . .

HLAA Workshop: Tinnitus: Current Neuroscience Research and Theories

June 30, 2011 in Education & Outreach

By Bonnie O’Leary  6/22/11

If you struggle with tinnitus, you are not alone.  There are over 46 million people in this country who have some form of this often debilitating condition.  This tinnitus workshop was presented by Amber M. Leaver, PhD, who got involved with tinnitus research at Georgetown University’s Medical Center two years ago.  I thank her for providing notes from her power point to assist us in our report.

Dr. Leaver began the workshop with some background on tinnitus.  It is a common hearing disorder in which a person hears a “phantom sensation” of sounds in the ear – buzzing or ringing are the most common – even though no external sound is present.  Tinnitus can come and go, it can bother us for long periods of time, or it can be present constantly.  Groups at high risk for developing tinnitus include those who are exposed to loud noise: construction workers, musicians, and military personnel.  More military veterans receive  compensation for tinnitus and hearing loss than for any other medical issue.

Tinnitus can be associated with difficulty sleeping and fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, and other factors. 

Causes of tinnitus

The exact cause of tinnitus is unknown, but there are triggers to watch out for.  The  most common is exposure to loud noise and resulting hearing loss.  Head or neck injury, temporomandibular joint/jaw dysfunction (TMJ), and certain drugs are other triggers.  However, not everyone with hearing loss or head injury develops chronic tinnitus, and this is a phenomenon that neuroscience research is attempting to understand.  To understand tinnitus, we need to understand how the brains of people with tinnitus are different from those without tinnitus.

Neuroscience research

How does tinnitus affect the brain?  Currently, research identifies changes in two parts of tinnitus patients’ brains: the auditory system and the limbic system. 

The auditory system begins in the ear, where sound is converted to neural impulses which travel to the auditory sensory processing center, or the auditory cortex.  People with tinnitus have hyper-responsiveness to sound in their auditory cortex, especially sounds like their tinnitus sensation.  In all people, the auditory cortex contains tissue that’s organized by what pitch it responds to best, like a keyboard on the brain. This is called tonotopy. 

When we lose our hearing, these “brain keyboards” are missing “keys” corresponding to the hearing loss, and they also have extra “keys” corresponding to pitches close to their hearing loss.  In tinnitus sufferers, these extra keys often match the tinnitus sensation, and it is thought that the imbalances in hyperactivity and tonotopy produce the tinnitus sensation.  What is unclear is whether these changes are due to hearing damage or to tinnitus itself, making it hard to prove that changes to the auditory system alone cause tinnitus.

The limbic system is considered the emotional part of the brain, but it has also shown to be involved in deciding the value of our thoughts and behaviors.  The limbic system seems to be different in people with tinnitus due to a section of the brain being structured differently than in people without tinnitus. 

Similar differences in this part of the brain are found in people with depression and chronic pain.  Dr. Leaver and her colleagues propose that this part of the limbic system works like a noise-cancellation system.  When this system doesn’t work well, people are not able to suppress unimportant thoughts and perceptions – including phantom perceptions like tinnitus. 

The impact of research on the development of treatments for tinnitus

As many of us know, there is currently no cure for tinnitus, and there is no treatment that works for everyone.  It will be crucial to identify the brain basis of tinnitus to develop effective treatments.  If the brain basis is mostly auditory, then treatments should target the auditory system.  If, on the other hand, the brain basis is limbic, then treatments will have to target the limbic system. 

To learn more, Dr. Leaver directed us to the website for the American Tinnitus Association, www.ata.org

Amber M. Leaver, PhD