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Home > Medical Services > Ear, Nose & Throat > Ear Care > Ear Disorders > Hearing Loss, Ringing of the Ear, Tinnitus
Head noise, or tinnitus, is very common. It can be mild or severe, intermittent or constant, and may or may not be linked to hearing impairment. Most tinnitus is subjective (audible only to the patient). Objective tinnitus (audible to the patient and others) can be caused by muscle spasms in the middle ear or abnormalities in blood vessels around the ear.
If examination suggests a local or general cause of the tinnitus, medical intervention may help to alleviate the tinnitus. In most cases, however, there is no medical or surgical treatment to eliminate tinnitus.
There are general measures the patient can take to ease or mask the tinnitus: avoid nervous anxiety, get enough rest, avoid nerve stimulants like coffee and smoking, ignore the noise as much as possible, and try sedatives at bedtime or a bedside noise masker.
Biofeedback exercises help some patients relax muscles attached to the head so the tinnitus is less bothersome. A tinnitus masker may also help; it is a feature common in most hearing aids that plays low-level melodies, sound or white noise to minimize how noticeable an individual’s tinnitus is when he or she is wearing the device.