Central Nervous System and Tinnitus
Tinnitus or ringing ears is a condition which according to the American Tinnitus Association will affect 50 million Americans at some point in their lives. Patients who suffer from tinnitus might also experience hearing damage or different levels of hearing loss.
Dr. Alan Micco, an associate professor of Otolaryngology and Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University, is conducting research about the causes and different treatments of Tinnitus.
In an interview by Northwestern University, Dr. Micco was asked about the central nervous system’s role in tinnitus. He explained how “Brain research is hot right now, but we’ve known for a while that tinnitus is a central nervous system problem. Over 20 years ago, researchers found that people who used anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications, such as amitriptyline and aprazolam, showed improvement in their tinnitus symptoms. This may have been because of the medications’ effects on the brain, possibly due to a sedative effect that decreases perception. Stress and anxiety can make you fixate on the tinnitus.”
Dr. Micco also talked about how physical changes in the brain are being monitored through PET scans, in patients suffering from tinnitus. The scans showed “increased levels of activity in the left temporal lobe”, which is where the auditory cortex is found.”
Research continues, which gives hope to many people suffering from tinnitus. If you experience ringing ears visit your Miami Hearing Center and consult with your Miami audiologist such as Dr. Duran, which will diagnose you and help treat this condition.