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A Literature Review of Tinnitus
Andrew Folz
Rockhurst University


Tinnitus is the perception of sound within the human ear when no actual sound is present. Tinnitus usually interpreted as a ringing sound that varies in frequency and loudness. There are many causes of tinnitus along with symptoms that are caused by tinnitus. Millions of people, primarily men, are affected with chronic tinnitus that usually leads to hearing loss. This literary review of Tinnitus will cover a current, basic knowledge of tinnitus, possible causes of tinnitus, conditions that may cause tinnitus, experiments involving mice to discover new findings in tinnitus research, and possible treatments that are currently being studied.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound within the human ear when no actual sound is present. Though often unrecognized, tinnitus affects millions of people worldwide. Tinnitus is one of the most common physical symptoms. It affects 10-15% of the population at some point in their lives (Holmes and Padgham, 2009). Derived from the Latin word, “tinnire,” which means to ring, tinnitus is commonly experienced as high-pitched noise with mechanical, electrical, or musical qualities. The underlying pathophysiology of tinnitus is unclear. It seems unlikely there is a single underlying cause, but tinnitus may accompany almost any auditory dysfunction. Damage to the middle ear, cochlea, audiovestibular nerve, and cerebral pathways between the cochlear nucleus and primary auditory cortex may explain its origins (Holmes and Padgham, 2009). Tinnitus is the most common injury arising from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. About 75% of young adults who attend nightclubs and concerts experience temporary tinnitus from the loud music. Tinnitus also may arise during periods of stress, like finals week for college students. Tinnitus may be unilateral or bilateral. It…...

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