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  • Writer's pictureKristie Bray, LPCC

A quick guide to Tinnitus

We are frequently asked about tinnitus. What can we do to help and what is causing the issue. Here are some points of interested for those that have asked about tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus and what are the symptoms?

Heres a 2 minute Neuroscience video by Neuroscientifically Challenged to explain what tinnitus is and what could be causing :

Remember tinnitus is a symptom of some underlying condition. So being evaluated by your doctor to rule out other conditions is important.

There are two types of tinnitus.

1: Subjective - most common

Only heard by patient


  • Exposure to loud noises

  • Age-related hearing loss

  • Head trauma

  • Psychological conditions - Anxiety, depression

  • Dental conditions

  • Age-related hearing lose

  • Nutrient deficiencies (zinc and vit. A0

  • Migraine headachesThyriod issues

2: Objective (Somatosound) - more rare

Heard by others


  • Benign intracranial hypertension

  • Aneurysms

  • AVM

  • Arterial bruits and venous hums


There are a few different theories on what can actually be going on in Tinnitus.

  • Due to damage of auditory receptors within the cochlea of the ear.

  • Abnormal neuronal activity within the auditory pathway of the brain.

  • Other parts of the brain may become activated, including the limbic structure involved in emotions.

Signs of symptoms:

  • White noise

  • Bussing, hissing, roaring, grinding

  • May be altered or induced by certain movements known as Somatic tinnitus. These movements such as jaw clenching, changes in eye positions, or moving your neck in certain ways.

  • Ringing may be louder when first waking up and/or may decrease when sleeping. Because of these features it's showing that damage alone to the ear is not alone.

  • Hearing loss

  • Annoyance and anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Vertigo


  • Emotional/physiological stress showing that certain areas of our brain is overly active.

  • Noises

  • Bodily symptoms such as neck strain


  • Can depend on the underlying cause

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • Sound therapy - Binaural beats

  • Neck massages or dry needling

  • Pharmacotherapies - In some cases and stop helping after the medication has stopped.


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