Tinnitus is a warning from the brain

Tinnitus settles in the brain

Every tenth German suffers from tinnitus. It whistles, knocks, rings, rustles. And nobody but the person concerned can hear the sound. Tinnitus takes place in the head. What triggers it is still unclear. Sometimes it's too loud music, sometimes hearing loss, sometimes stress. For some people, the noises in their ears go away on their own within a few days. Others have to get used to living with tinnitus. Particularly treacherous: after a while, the beeping sticks in the brain.

When the beeping sticks in the ear

There are different definitions for tinnitus. Those affected most often hear a whistle, followed by a hissing noise. Every second person has ringing in their ears at some point in their life. But 10 to 20 percent have to deal with them over a longer period of time. If the tinnitus becomes chronic, the sound is even stored in the auditory center of the auditory cortex. This is an area of ​​the cerebral cortex that is used to process acoustic stimuli. The end point of the auditory cortex is also found there. This area of ​​the brain is also known as the auditory cortex.

Tinnitus is permanently anchored in nerve cells

All sounds picked up by the ear are directed there. If tinnitus persists, the nerve cells in the auditory cortex are overactive and the processes become faulty. The nerve cells also network more closely. Until the tinnitus is permanently anchored. Since it is not about a sensory impression from the outside, and the noise is incorrectly stored in the brain, one can also speak of a phantom noise. In addition, the nerve cells themselves can produce sounds in the brain, which then also enter the patient's consciousness.

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Medication does not help with chronic tinnitus

Once the phantom sound has settled in the head, medication will usually no longer help. Stress relief therapies, behavioral and sound therapies or self-help groups are often the last help for patients. However, most patients can live with the noises in their ears. In general, a distinction is made between four degrees of severity of tinnitus. Grade one means: the beeping in the ear can be heard twice but does not affect the person affected. This applies to 35 to 40 percent of all adults.

In eight percent, tinnitus affects everyday life

In grade two, the noises in the ears are permanent and sometimes distressing. They come to the fore especially in the case of psychological stress. That affects around 17 percent. In grade three, tinnitus creates an increased level of suffering and affects everyday professional and private life. This applies to around eight percent of patients. You are constantly worrying about the beeping in your ear. Anyone who suffers from grade four tinnitus also gets psychological and physical ailments as a result of this constant stress. These include decreased concentration, headaches, sleep disorders, reduced performance, pain and anxiety. Depression can even occur. This extreme form of tinnitus and subsequent symptoms only affect around half a percent of those affected.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.