Silence may lead to phantom noises misinterpreted as tinnitus

Jan 01, 2008

Phantom noises, that mimic ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus, can be experienced by people with normal hearing in quiet situations, according to new research published in the January 2008 edition of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

The Brazilian study, which consisted of 66 people with normal hearing and no tinnitus, found that among subjects placed in a quiet environment where they were asked to focus on their hearing senses, 68 percent experienced phantom ringing noises similar to that of tinnitus.

This is compared to only 45.5 percent of participants who heard phantom ringing when asked to focus on visual stimuli and not on their hearing, and 19.7 percent of those asked to focus on a task in a quiet environment.

The authors believe that these findings show that with regards to tinnitus, the role of attention to symptoms, as well as silence, plays a large role in experience and severity.

Tinnitus, an auditory perception that cannot be attributed to an external source, affects at least 36 million Americans on some level, with at least seven million experiencing it so severely that it interferes with daily activities. The disorder is most often caused by damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear, although it can also be attributed to allergies, high or low blood pressure (blood circulation problems), a tumor, diabetes, thyroid problems, injury to the head or neck, and use of medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, sedatives, antidepressants, and aspirin.

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Explore further: Invasive procedures down with noninvasive prenatal testing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Habitual use of fire as told from cave near Haifa

2 minutes ago

Scientists have not been content with the exercise of dating when man first used fire. While the earliest evidence for hominin use of fire dates to more than a million years ago, scientists have been keen ...

At UN climate talks, a crack in rich-poor barrier

42 minutes ago

A last-minute deal that salvaged U.N. climate talks from collapse early Sunday sends a signal the rich-poor divide that long held up progress can be overcome with a year to go before a landmark pact is supposed ...

Denmark claims North Pole via Greenland ridge link

52 minutes ago

Scientific data shows Greenland's continental shelf is connected to a ridge beneath the Arctic Ocean, giving Danes a claim to the North Pole and any potential energy resources beneath it, Denmark's foreign minister said.

People finding their 'waze' to once-hidden streets

15 hours ago

When the people whose houses hug the narrow warren of streets paralleling the busiest urban freeway in America began to see bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling by their homes a year or so ago, they were baffled.

Identity theft victims face months of hassle

15 hours ago

As soon as Mark Kim found out his personal information was compromised in a data breach at Target last year, the 36-year-old tech worker signed up for the retailer's free credit monitoring offer so he would ...

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

20 hours ago

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.