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Ringing Ear

symptom, buzzing and sounds

EAR, RINGING OF.—A frequent symptom which may be due to various causes. When due to EAR-WAX PLUGS (which see) it is readily curable. Often it is a symptom of deep-seated affections of the ear, such as chronic catarrh of the middle ear ; in other instances it is of nervous origin. In some cases the sounds are sizzling, buzzing, or hissing ; in others they resemble ringing, chirping, or whistling. Ringing in the ears may at times give rise to aberrations of judgment (hallucinations) ; hut the symptom which consists in perceiving sounds that nobody else can hear is not a sign of an affection of the ear, but of a mental disease. If the ringing is incessant, the results of treatment are less hopeful than when it occurs only occasion ally. Before deciding upon any plan of treatment it is necessary to determine the cause of the ringing. It often happens that patients become accustomed to the buzzing sounds, and cease to notice them. Sometimes, however, the affliction is so marked that hearing is greatly impaired ; and it may cause mental depression, and even suicidal intentions. External noises,

such as the bustle of the street, music, etc., deaden the sensation, whereas the quiet of the night intensifies it.

Brief, occasionally high-pitched, ringing of the ear, which is heard like the fine ringing of glasses, is a normal phenomenon. If it persists for some time, or if it recurs regularly, there is scarcely any possibility of curing the condition. Muscular spasms of the internal ear occasionally cause a brief flapping or crackling noise, which is without significance. The muscular noises are at times so loud that they may be heard, not only by the patient, but even by other persons at some distance. The most common cause of mild buzzing in the ear is chronic catarrhal inflammation of the middle ear. This affection frequently leads to deafness.