While head and neck injuries are already related to a host of other serious health risks, new research has discovered a link to a more unexpected one—tinnitus.
A bothersome ringing, buzzing, or whooshing sensation in one’s ears, tinnitus can be caused by many different things, such as overexposure to loud noises or earwax blockage. But according to recent findings, such as those from the Oregon Health and Service University Tinnitus Clinic, there is a strong association between tinnitus and injuries to the head or neck. Of the 2,400 patients evaluated in the Oregon study, more than 12% reported first experiencing their tinnitus after suffering head or neck injuries. In most cases, the tinnitus was found to be highly disruptive to the patient’s lives.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) reported that tinnitus is frequently a symptom of a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, and can occur as a direct consequence of TBI or the medications prescribed to treat it.
While the majority of TBIs are caused by car accidents, those who play contact sports like football, basketball, hockey and soccer are also susceptible. Understanding the link between TBI and tinnitus is vital to ensuring one’s full recovery following an injury.
Tinnitus is also often associated with some degree of hearing difficulty. While there is currently no cure for tinnitus, there are advanced solutions available that can help bring relief from the unwanted noise.
By visiting a hearing healthcare professional, you can learn more about your personal hearing health.
Last updated: August 29,2014